This message came to me from a reader named Peter Svensland.
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He and a fr Reviews The Hundred-Foot Journey. Mozaffar A Far-Flunger offers questions that illuminate the themes of Tarantino's latest.
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Roger Ebert This message came to me from a reader named Peter Svensland. Usually, I can't stand them. Stubbornly sentimental, faithfully based on some book-club approved best-seller, they're painfully tasteful and strangely lifeless. They're shiny, expensive tear-jerking machines. And "The Hundred-Foot Journey" is the latest.
The movie — based on a novel, and brought to the screen by the relentlessly uplifting Steven Spielberg and Oprah Winfrey — is the story of an Indian extended family that, after some detours, decides to settle improbably in a tiny French village and open a restaurant. Even more improbably, the one space they pick is feet across the road from a Michelin-starred temple to French food, whose starchy proprietor is convinced that the opposite of "classic cuisine" is the undoubtedly classless curries being served within nose-wrinkling distance.
And so let the snobbery — and the inevitable competition for clients, and respect — begin.
Helen Mirren is the French autocrat, and the veteran Indian actor Om Puri is the immigrant patriarch; both act here, of course, with quiet economy. Handsome Manish Dayal plays his son and waifish Charlotte Le Bon plays her protegee; they are not, at least technically, Romeo-and-Juliet progeny although an awkward romance develops nonetheless.
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That's predictable, of course, as is everything else — some slight jousting between the two rival establishments, a flash of violent racism which Mirren's character quickly shows she will not be party to , and an eventual loosening of tensions. And then the inevitable studio-movie third act, in which our innocent hero is lured away by the big city.
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Which, hypocritically, is always seen as a place of shallowness, dishonesty and temptation in Hollywood films - as if anyone would even be working in L. Well, maybe not entirely.
- The Hundred-Foot Journey: cute foodie movie leaves a sour taste | Film | The Guardian?
- The Hundred-Foot Journey: cute foodie movie leaves a sour taste.
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Helen Mirren and Om Puri are the top-billed players here, and time spent watching them is never entirely wasted. Puri is Papa Kadam, the patriarch of an Indian family that has been in the restaurant business for generations. He and his four children arrive in a small town in the south of France and set up Maison Mumbai, where the smell of their spices and the sound of their music offends the sensibilities of Madame Mallory Ms. Mirren , proprietress of the venerable Michelin-starred establishment across the street.
The clash of imperious and irascible that these two well-seasoned actors perform is spirited and effortless, but there is nowhere near enough of it.
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Instead, there is a culture clash gastro-rom-com spooned out with extreme caution. The main character is Mr. She lends him classic French cookbooks, and he cross-pollinates their tried-and-true recipes with flavors and techniques from back home. But it is so systematically wrong about all of these things as to seem actively dishonest. Women here can nurture and spot talented chefs, but that status is implicitly reserved for men.
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