The director of Chocolat has cooked up another culinary movie treat with The Hundred-Foot Journey. An Indian family has their restaurant burned to the ground (which also takes the life of the matriarch) in their home country, so they head out abroad trying to find a new place to make their roots. A broken down car means they set up shop in a small French village, which just happens to be across the street from the finest French restaurant “within 50 miles”, run by Madame Mallory (played by Golden Glone nominee Helen Mirren).
The competition is on quickly as each side tries to sabotage each other’s business. It’s a cute premise performed by an appealing cast. Om Puri is great as the Indian Dad, and it’s fun watching him and Mirren bicker. It’s like Grumpy Old Men with food. Your mouth will be watering as director Lasse Hallstrom shoots the food beautifully. The colours are vibrant and really jump off the screen.
The Hundred-Foot Journey is easily digestible lightweight comedy for its first 2 acts, but then it takes an unfortunately detour in its third act that really slows the pace down. It becomes all about the son of the Indian family, Hassan (Manish Dayal) as he follows his culinary dream. The whole thing is like one big montage with no real substance to it. It drains the film of a lot of its energy before it gets to its obvious conclusion.