The Hundred-Foot Journey starts with the story of a family from India who are forced to flee after their restaurant is attacked by political extremists. They flee to London where they aren’t exactly impressed with the culinary options. So, they continue their journey to France where they decide to start a new restaurant, right across the street from one of the most famous restaurants in all of France. Their traditional Indian cuisine and style clashes with the other owners classic French style with hilarity and drama ensuing.
The Hundred-Foot Journey is all in all an average film. It’s not awful but it isn’t fantastic either, it is simply a strong film that rides the middle ground pretty well. The best part of the film by far is Helen Mirren’s performance which isn’t all that surprising since it’s Helen Mirren. Seriously, she plays a stuck up french woman who is constantly trying to find a reason to close down her new competition. However, in a completely “unseen” turn of events she eventually comes around to the family. What makes her performances so fantastic is the subtlety of emotion. Whether it be joy or sadness, she is able to express complete and pointed emotions with extreme subtlety. My favorite example of this is a moment where the rival head chef’s hands have been badly burned due to some overzealous employees from her own restaurant. Her recognition of what the damage of his hands means in every metaphorical and literal sense is purely heartbreaking. Regardless, beside Helen doing her thing there isn’t much else to this film.
The two main characters, Manish Dayal and Charlotte Le Bron do a solid job but due to the fairly predictable plot, it seems they lose the chance to really strut their stuff. The rest of the cast do well enough to provide drama and humor where needed. Outside of that they are easily replaceable.
As said before the plot is predictable. Partly because of the trailers leading to the film tell all that there is to the film and partly because it is a run of the mill romance/drama flick. It has all the tropes from the shy pretty girl that doesn’t think she is pretty, the conflict that forces our two love-birds a part, even the whole two old people bickering who eventually fall in love shtick made it in. While still well written in terms of dialogue, it still suffers from plot issues.
The best way to describe this film is a safe-bet. It seems Steven Spielberg and Oprah, the two executive producers, set out to make a film that would return on investment. They succeeded since this film has already made more than it cost. Again, while not a terrible movie it still isn’t a good one. If you are in the mood for a film that will leave you a little happier afterwards without giving you too much grief getting there than hunker down with your favorite snacks.
My Rating: 5/10