'The Hundred-Foot Journey'

Helen Mirren co-stars in this uplifting and cultural film.

This week’s movie review focuses on a more recent movie than any other since I overtook these locally-focused reviews. “The Hundred-Foot Journey” (2014), was certainly a refreshing return to (very) modern cinema.

Although the film is set in the beautiful French countryside, “The Hundred-Foot Journey” starts off switching between an immigration office and a vibrant restaurant in India.

A young Hassan (Manish Dayal, “The Sorcerer’s Apprentice”) explains to the immigration officer his story and who he is — a home-trained cook. Hassan’s family, the Kadans, were forced out of India after political riots that caused their restaurant to burn down, and the family’s matriarch to perish.

When the family car’s breaks fail in the village of Saint-Antonin-Noble-Val, the Kadans take this as a sign from the mother that that’s where they are supposed to settle. Papa (Om Puri, “Gandhi”) purchases an old building to turn into a restaurant, right across the street from a renowned French restaurant owned by the cold Madame Mallory (Helen Mirren, “The Queen”).

The two restauranteurs become enemies on principle and attempt to besiege each other with immature antics, until one time when it goes too far and the Kadans’ restaurant catches fire. Hassan’s hands are severely burned in the blaze.

Upon seeing the destruction her anger and racism has caused, Mallory offers help to the Kadans, and even offers Hassan a position after he proves himself as an exemplary chef.

“The Hundred-Foot Journey” is rich in culture and romance, and it’s sure to make you crave authentic Indian food, if you’re anything like me. This film surely is uplifting and charming, and is certainly worth the watch in my opinion.

High Country Lifelong Learners in association with the Watauga County Public Library hosts a free viewing of “The Hundred-Foot Journey” from 2 to 4:30 p.m. April 11 at the WCPL.

This film has an MPAA rating of PG and an approximate run-time of 122 minutes.

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