The Hundred-Foot Journey (2014)
|Content Rating||PG (PG)|
|Awards||2 wins & 4 nominations.|
|Company||Amblin Entertainment, Dreamworks Pictures, Harpo Films|
|Country||USA, India, United Arab Emirates|
|Language||English, Hindi, French|
The Hundred-Foot Journey (film)
The Hundred-Foot Journey is a 2014 American comedy-drama film directed by Lasse Hallström from a screenplay written by Steven Knight, adapted from Richard Morais' 2010 novel of the same name. The film stars Helen Mirren, Om Puri, Manish Dayal and Charlotte Le Bon and is about a battle of two restaurants in a French village: one by an Indian family and the other, a lofty Michelin-starred restaurant.
Produced by Steven Spielberg and Oprah Winfrey for DreamWorks Pictures through their respective production companies, Amblin Entertainment and Harpo Films, in association with Participant Media and Reliance Entertainment, it was released by Touchstone Pictures on August 8, 2014, and grossed $94 million at the worldwide box office.
A Konkani Muslim Kadam family runs a restaurant in Mumbai. The second-oldest son, Hassan Haji (Manish Dayal), is being trained to replace his mother (Juhi Chawla) as the restaurant's main cook. He shops with her for seafood and is a connoisseur of seafood from childhood who can smell fish to find out the best quality one. However, a mob attacks and firebombs the restaurant over an election dispute. Abbu Kadam (Om Puri) and his family evacuate the guests, but the mother dies in the fire. Seeking asylum in Europe, the family first settles in London, where their residence proves ill-suited for a restaurant. They depart for mainland Europe.
Shortly after entering France, the brakes on Abbu's van fail near Saint-Antonin-Noble-Val in the Midi-Pyrénées. Marguerite (Charlotte Le Bon), a sous chef at an upscale French restaurant named "Le Saule Pleureur" ("The Weeping Willow"), passes by and offers to help the Kadams find an auto repair shop and a guest house. She brings the Kadams to her apartment and treats them to cold food but no pork, even though pork is a French delicacy. Abbu is amazed at the quality of the food in the village and its availability and discovers that Marguerite made the food herself.
Abbu learns of an abandoned restaurant building available for purchase. It is located directly across the street — only a hundred feet (30 m) — from Le Saule Pleureur. Madame Mallory (Helen Mirren), proprietor of Le Saule Pleureur and purporting to act as caretaker for the owners of the abandoned restaurant, asks the Kadams to leave because it is "private property". Abbu sits with his family at a French restaurant drinking only water and not touching alcohol. Abbu buys the property, even though the rest of his family is against it, and names the restaurant "Maison Mumbai".
Mallory asks for their menu and by the time of their opening night has bought all the locally available ingredients they would need to serve. A cold war erupts between Abbu and Mallory. The war peaks on Bastille Day when one of Mallory's chefs, Jean-Pierre, and two others vandalize the Kadams' restaurant by spray-painting words which translate to "France for the French" on the outer wall and firebombing the interior. Hassan catches the arsonists in the act and scares them off, but his hands and legs are burned. The following morning Mallory, who deduced who is responsible for the arson and vandalism, dismisses Jean-Pierre and personally cleans the graffiti from Maison Mumbai.
Hassan, having heard from Marguerite that Mallory hires potential chefs by taste-testing an omelette and deciding whether the person is indeed a great chef, asks if he may cook an omelette for her to his recipe. Due to his injured hands, Mallory helps under Hassan's supervision. After tasting the omelette, which had Indian influences to it, Mallory recognizes Hassan's potential and invites him to work for her as an apprentice, and confesses that she deliberately sabotaged his apology on behalf of his father, when he recreated a classic pigeon dish. Abbu is initially against the move, but ultimately strikes a deal with her as to Hassan's pay.
Hassan's cooking, which gradually evolves into a fusion of Indian cuisine and French cuisine, results in Mallory's restaurant receiving its second Michelin star. The award draws national attention to Hassan's cooking, and he is offered and accepts a job in Paris. Abbu and Mallory make amends and begin seeing each other, but Hassan's relationship with Marguerite has soured.
Hassan's cooking in Paris quickly receives critical acclaim, fueling speculation of a third Michelin Star for the Paris restaurant, but his work is increasingly bogged down by thoughts of his family (after he samples another indian mans' wife's food) and Marguerite (with whom he had an ongoing romance). Hassan returns home a year later and reunites with Marguerite. He invites Marguerite to join him in a business venture—buying a stake in Mallory's restaurant, along with operational control. Hassan believes this will help the restaurant earn its third star. That evening, Hassan and Marguerite prepare dinner at Mallory's restaurant and bring the dishes across the road to the courtyard of Maison Mumbai for all to enjoy.
- Helen Mirren as Madame Mallory
- Om Puri as Abbu "Papa" Kadam
- Manish Dayal as Hassan Kadam Rohan Chand as young Hassan Kadam
- Rohan Chand as young Hassan Kadam
- Charlotte Le Bon as Marguerite
- Amit Shah as Mansur
- Farzana Dua Elahe as Mahira
- Dillon Mitra as Mukthar
- Aria Pandya as Aisha Begum
- Michel Blanc as Mayor
- Shuna Lemoine as Mayor's wife
- Clément Sibony as Jean-Pierre
- Juhi Chawla as Ammi "Mama" Kadam
- Vincent Elbaz as Paul, Manager of the Parisian molecular cuisine restaurant
Principal photography began on September 23, 2013, in southern France, in Saint-Antonin-Noble-Val, lasted for nine weeks and proceeded in The Netherlands and in the Cité du Cinéma studio complex, located in Saint-Denis, north of Paris.The Hundred Foot Journey was extensively shot at scenic locales of Midi-Pyrénées. Prior to actual filming, actors Manish Dayal and Charlotte Le Bon spent a considerable amount of time going to restaurants and observing and learning in kitchens. To sign off on the food featured in the film, producer Juliet Blake consulted Indian-born chef Floyd Cardoz, who practiced “fusing together two cultures through cooking.” Indian actress Juhi Chawla plays Om Puri's character's wife in the film. The makers felt the need for her to look 15 years older than her actual age, so she was aged digitally with the help of post-production techniques such as visual refactoring.
A.R. Rahman composed the music for the film. Hollywood Records released the soundtrack on August 12, 2014.
The first trailer for the film was released on May 13, 2014. The film's New York premiere was held at the Ziegfeld Theatre on August 4, 2014. The film was released on August 8, 2014. Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures distributed The Hundred-Foot Journey globally through its Touchstone Pictures label, except for territories in Europe, Africa and the Middle East, where the film's rights were sold by Mister Smith Entertainment to independent distributors. Reliance Entertainment distributed the film solely in India. The film was released in France as Les Recettes du bonheur (translates to The Recipes for Happiness).
The Hundred-Foot Journey was released by Touchstone Home Entertainment on Blu-ray Disc and DVD on December 2, 2014.
The film grossed $10,979,290 in its opening weekend in the US, finishing in 4th. As of December 6, 2014, the film has grossed $88,880,821.
On Rotten Tomatoes the film has an approval rating of 67%, based on 145 reviews with an average score of 6.21/10. The site's consensus reads: "Director Lasse Hallström does lovely work and Helen Mirren is always worth watching, but The Hundred-Foot Journey travels predictable ground already covered by countless feel-good dramedies." On Metacritic, the film has a score of 55 out of 100, based on 36 critics, indicating "mixed or average reviews".
The Wrap's Alonso Duralde called the film "a surprisingly bland slumgullion of food porn and emotional manipulation, filtered through the middlebrow sensibilities of director Lasse Hallström." Variety's Justin Chang called the film "the most soothing brand of cinematic comfort food." Film critic Edwin Arnaudin of the Asheville Citizen-Times gave the film a "B-plus".
The NPR's film critic Kenneth Turan said the film was entertaining, while criticizing the predictability of the story and "wish that the film had more of the messy juices of life flowing through its veins".
Helen Mirren was nominated for a Golden Globe Award in the category Best Actress in a Motion Picture – Comedy or Musical.