Today for no particular reason and having little else to do, I chose to catch a film I knew little about simply because 84% of the Rotten Tomato viewers liked it. That film, “The 100 foot journey” was simply a gem.
Thrown out of India because of violent politics, the Kadams end up wandering around France looking for their fate. The brakes give out on their jalopy within view of a charming French village and after they are assisted into town, they open an Indian restaurant right across the street from a very haute French place boasting on Michelin star. The strategy and tactics of war begin.
Papa veteran Indian actor Om Puri plays Kadam to perfection. Helen Mirren convincingly conjures up a character we has devoted her entire life to running one of the finest restaurants in France. Manish Dayal as Hassan is desirous of learning about French cooking. Charlotte Le Bon as Marguerite rounds out the cast as the obligatory pretty girl.
Perhaps you might remember a while back I tried to analyze a really bad film for what made it so (Anatomy of bad film:“Divergent”)(2014). This time I’ll analyze what makes a good (and underrated) film.
- There are no computer-generated effects, explosions, rattles of automatic gunfire, exploding universes and green monsters with tentacles.
- The director has world-class credentials. Lasse Hallstrom directed the Oscar nominated 2000 film “Chocolat”.
- The film contains understated performances from every single actor working together to interpret a plot that is well constructed, interesting and holds up through the entire film.
- The cinematography is vivid, beautiful and captures the European countryside and kitchen interiors with style and accuracy.
- Everyone ends up with a partner of sorts in the end. 🙂
Of course, there are always excesses. The film is too long and the final third enters a realm that doesn’t quite fit tithe the beginning. But all things, considered, it’s an excellent film, well crafted, thoughtful and devoid of hype and glitz. A film you can just relax within and enjoy.
Best quip: Restaurateur in Paris showing the dining room to Hassan: “This is the beast with 1000 mouths. To please it, you must be innovative”
I give it four of five newly picked mushrooms. Must-see for my Indian friends