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Cinema ian 8/19/2014

The Hundred Foot Journey is a joy. It is a movie about food and it is a cinematic version of comfort food. You don’t have to analyse or think too hard, just take an enjoyable journey. To continue the analogy, it is more like well-cooked lamb shanks with mashed potato than a Heston Blumenthal seaweed and sand concoction. It is a somewhat predictable story but that is part of the joy, watching it unfold and enjoying the nuances.

THE HUNDRED-FOOT JOURNEYIn a nutshell, Papa Kadam (Om Puri) decides that the family should leave India for other pastures – England looks a little cold so they choose to move to a delightful village in the south of France, buy a derelict building and turn it into an Indian restaurant. His son, Hassan (Manish Dayal), is a fabulous chef. Across the road, one would guess at about 100 feet away, is a celebrated Michelin-starred French restaurant, owned by the icy Madame Mallory (Helen Mirren). She wants this unwanted irritation shut down – cultures and personalities clash – and without spoiling it, Hassan also has a passion and a talent for French cuisine… you have probably guessed the rest of the director’s recipe anyway…

The movie has a lovely script by Steven Knight, based on Richard C. Morais’ novel… it is directed by Lasse Hallstrom (My Life as a Dog, Chocolat)… produced by Steven Spielberg, Oprah Winfrey and Juliet Blake… and the cast is perfect. Not sure who ‘owns’ the movie – both Helen Mirren and Om Puri have great screen charisma but Manish Dayal is a charming scene stealer, as is his love interest, Marguerite, played by Charlotte Le Bon (you might have also guessed that she works in the French restaurant)…

Currently showing at Event Cinemas the word of mouth must be travelling nicely because it is rare that a nice little movie like this thumps a blockbuster like The Expendables 3 at the box office as it did last weekend.

The rating is PG and it is 122 minutes in duration. If you are in the mood for a couple of hours’ enjoyable diversion and entertainment, you won’t be disappointed. Here is the official trailer.

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