#REVIEW: “THE HUNDRED-FOOT JOURNEY”
Review by Justin Waldman for Mr. Will Wong
When you team a talented Screenwriter like Steven Knight (Eastern Promises, Locke, Dirty Pretty Things), a brilliant Director in Lasse Halström (What’s Eating Gilbert Grape, Chocolat, Salmon Fishing in The Yemen) and a powerhouse Cast, you’re bound to have a fantastic Film. And a superb Film The Hundred-Foot Journey is. Your appetites will be whet and your cinematic cravings satisfied.
The inspirational Story begins with a focus on the Haji Family and their struggles through life. They owned a Restaurant back home in India but after an election, it is burnt-down, the Family torn apart. This is when they decide to move to Europe and fulfill Hassan’s (Manish Dayal) dream to become a Chef. Upon arriving in London, they realize it is not the Country for them and, as a result, they go on a road trip to France and find an abandoned Restaurant across the street from Madame Mallory’s (Helen Mirren) Michelin-Star Restaurant. Madame Mallory does not like any form of competition and does everything within her power to ensure that Papa and Hassan are unable to compete with her. However, when Hassan and Mallory’s Chef du Cuisine Marquerite (Charlotte Le Bon) become close Friends, it is apparent that Hassan is not someone to be taken lightly as his culinary skills certainly are not to be overlooked. Will Madame Mallory be victorious over Hassan’s Restaurant?
The Hundred-Foot Journey excels thanks to solid foundations and connections between its Characters. The relationship between Marquerite and Hassan truly shines brightest through the Film. The one relationship that truly makes this Film so beautiful is the one between Hassan and Food. His complete passion and desire for it enthralls. The only thing unfortunate perhaps is a substantial lack of even more mouth-watering food visuals.
Mirren plays the Cruella De Vil role to perfection – so impeccable that I can think of no one better to play the role should a Live-Action version of 101 Dalmatians ever present itself. As well, Om Puri plays the role of the overprotective, by-the-book, Father to a tee. We see him transition and grow as a person throughout the Story – one of its most fascinating elements. Manish Dayal and Charlotte Le Bon both make it look effortless in their one ambition to become a Chef.
The Hundred-Foot Journey certainly is a Contender for Feel-Good Movie of the Summer and we dare you not to walk away from it feeling overcome with inspiration. If Oprah and Spielberg approve, then so do we.
Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures Canada release The Hundred Foot Journey on Friday, August 8th 2014.