Movie Review: ‘The Hundred–Foot Journey’ starring Helen Mirren, Manish Dayal, and Om Puri
May 28, 2021
“The Hundred-Foot Journey” reviewed by Jennifer Anne F. Messing.
The Hundred-Foot Journey is a colorful, internationally-appealing drama–romance about a family from India that relocates to France after losing their family restaurant, and everything they own, in an unexpected tragedy. This movie is a two-hour, two-minute, 2014 Dreamworks Pictures film release, in color, rated PG. It was produced by Steven Spielberg and Oprah Winfrey, and stars Helen Mirren, Manish Dayal, Om Puri, and Charlotte Le Bon.
When Mr. Kaddam (Om Puri), a businessman, and his five kids experience car problems while traveling through France, they meet a sweet young woman, Marguerite (Charlotte Le Bon) who helps them find temporary accommodations and puts them in touch with an auto mechanic. Having recently immigrated from India, they are eager to build a new life.
A few days later, while exploring the quaint town, Mr. Kaddam finds and examines a run-down building. He sees potential in it, and purchases it. With the help of his children, Mr. Kaddam immediately proceeds to renovate the property and opens up an Indian restaurant. He’s confident that with his family’s previous restaurant-ownership experience and the expert skills of his grown son, Hassan (Manish Dayal) who is a talented chef, he can successfully run a restaurant in a new country.
The Kaddam family soon discover that the restaurant right across the street from theirs is an award-winning, Michelin-starred dining establishment. It serves gourmet French cuisine and is managed by the snobbish Madame Mallory (Helen Mirren). She lets them know immediately that she’s not pleased with them as neighbors. Hassan is surprised to learn that the young lady who had helped their family earlier, Marguerite, is a sous-chef at this French bistro.
After several months a new and exciting career opportunity opens up for Hassan. He immediately accepts it. This open door leads to yet another job offer and brings about major changes in his life. In due season Hassan has climbed very high up the career ladder as a Chef de Cuisine. He now realizes, however, that his success has taken him far away from his family, the Indian restaurant dear to his heart, and even from the woman he’s grown to care about. Hassan soon finds himself going through a period of intense soul-searching, which leads him to make some wise, new career choices, and go after the life he truly wants to live.
The Hundred-Foot Journey speaks on several themes: love of family and cultural heritage, passion and perseverance, new beginnings, and embracing people of all races and backgrounds. In a sensitive, eye-opening manner, it depicts the many challenges an immigrant family from Southeast Asia may encounter in business and personal relationships when starting a new life in a western country. It also shows that no matter where we are born and raised, deep inside we are all so much more alike than we are different. We all need a dream to pursue, acceptance and belonging, and a chance to find our once-in-a-lifetime love.
There’s much to enjoy in The Hundred-Foot Journey. Its dialogue is well-written, the plot captivating; the costumes, and countryside scenery vivid and beautiful. The acting performances of the four lead players are all top notch, but Helen Mirren portraying Madame Mallory, and Manish Dayal as Hassan, truly shine. This is a film the entire family can appreciate, with something adults and kids of all ages can enjoy. Happy movie night!
Movie Trailer: “The-Hundred-Foot Journey” starring Helen Mirren, Manish Dayal, and Om Puri
Drama/Comedy/Romance. Rated PG. Recommended for family viewing. Photo credits: Dreamworks Pictures.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR Jennifer Anne F. Messing' s third book, Love's Faithful Promise: Heart-stirring Short Stories and Poems of Romance and Faith (print/e-book) was named winner of the 2020 American Fiction Awards “Christian Inspirational“ category. She is a Cascade Writing Contest winner and five-time finalist (“Published Short Story” in 2018, 2019, and 2021), a multi-published author, poet, and worship leader. She earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism. A past president of the Oregon Christian Writers, she has authored three books and more than 250 articles, short stories, and poems published in 60 magazines, including: The Storyteller, Flurries of Words, LIVE, Evangel, FellowScript, and The Proverbs 31 Woman. Philippine-born, Jennifer Anne has been married to Michael Messing for 31 years. They are the parents of three adult children, grandparents of three young boys, and reside in Oregon, USA. Connect with her on Twitter, Facebook, and Linkedin. Get information about her other books, Morning's Promise: Poetic Moments in His Presence and Everlasting Love: Romantic Vignettes for a Woman’s Heart on this website, on Amazon, and Barnes&Noble online. Copyrighted © by Jennifer Anne Fabregas Messing. All rights reserved. Contact the author for reprint information. Email: JenniferAnneMessing@comcast.net.