“In this restaurant, the cuisine is not an old, tired marriage. It is a passionate affair!”
Last night I turned on Apple TV to check if there was anything interesting on Netflix or in the iTunes movie section and… my breath caught in my chest and my face opened in delight: The Hundred-Foot Journey!! I was sitting on the couch with one pooch melted on my lap and one curled up by my side, but I still managed to do a little wiggle–happy-dance.
I usually wait to purchase movies when iTunes has special offers – as they regularly do – or even just send for the Blue-Ray disc from Netflix. But I had heard so many raves about this movie from friends who had seen it (I do not trust official critics), that one, I could not wait, and two, I knew I would want to own it. So I clicked on Buy and invested $20 in the HD version, knowing this was a movie I would watch over and over and over and over. I can’t wait to watch it again tonight.
Directed by Lasse Hallstroöm, this award-winning movie satisfied all my expectations, and more, as I immersed myself in the story, the magnificent visuals, the glorious food I could almost taste and smell alongside the actors. For me parts of the movie were even relatable in the fact that I know first hand the pressure and agony of getting listed in the Michelin Guide, let alone achieve that first star.
The movie stayed with me so much that it even entered my dreams last night – not that I minded.
Any movie with Helen Mirren in it is good with me. This charming and talented actor brings something extra to the table that draws you in. She is brilliant! Add to that the delightful and colorful ensemble of a warm-hearted Indian family, the backdrop of the kind of picturesque French village everyone wants to move to tomorrow, glorious fusion food and exquisite photography…. How can you resist? Not possible.
Very shortly, the story follows the Kadam family, in particular young and gifted Hassan (beautifully portrayed by the deadly attractive Manish Dayal) who, after tragedy strikes their modest restaurant in India, decide to leave and find a new life in Europe. A series of synchronicities brings them to this small French village, where Papa (larger-than-life Indian actor Om Puri) decides to open a new Indian restaurant right across from that of famous French Chef Madame Mallory (Helen Mirren) – holder of a prestigious Michelin star. The walking distance between the two establishments is one-hundred feet, which mark a physical distance, but also a cultural gap that seems difficult to bridge. Culinary battles ensue, mostly hilarious, with a bit of drama thrown in, and yes, some romance, too. The rest you will have to find out for yourselves, otherwise what would be the fun?!
I just now found out that the movie is based on the book The Hundred-Foot Journey by Richard C. Morais, so there is another pleasurable way of expanding on the story, as usually books are not limited by time constricts like movies are, and thus richer in details.
Next on my search list is finding a seriously good Indian restaurant here in San Francisco. I have not had really good Indian food in years, not since I lived in Düsserldorf, and watching this movie has made my mouth water for some.
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