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“The Hundred-Foot Journey” is a film that demands that you take it seriously. With its feel-good themes of multicultural understanding, it is about Something Important. It even comes with the stamp of approval from titanic tastemakers Oprah Winfrey and Steven Spielberg , who both serve as producers. What more convincing could you possibly need?

There’s something familiar about the treacly and sanctimonious way this film is being packaged. It reeks of late-‘90s/early ‘00s Miramax fare: films with tasteful yet ubiquitous ad campaigns and unabashed Oscar aspirations which suggested that seeing them (and, more importantly, voting for them) would make you a better person. Films like “The Cider House Rules,” “Chocolat” and “The Shipping News.” Films by Swedish director Lasse Hallstrom.

Hallstrom just happens to be the director here, as well, and the similarities to “Chocolat” are inescapable. Stop me if think you’ve heard this one before: A family moves into a quaint but closed-minded French village and shakes things up with an enticing array of culinary delicacies. This new enterprise happens to sit across the street from a conservative and revered building that’s a town treasure. But the food in question isn’t a bon bon this time—rather, the movie is the bon bon itself.

But despite being handsomely crafted, well acted and even sufficiently enjoyable, “The Hundred-Foot Journey” is also conventional and predictable. And for a film that’s all about opening up your senses and sampling spicy, exotic tastes, this comic drama is entirely too safe and even a little bland.

What livens things up, though, is the interplay between Helen Mirren and Om Puri as battling restaurant owners operating across the street from each other—100 feet away from each other, to be exact, a short but fraught trip that various characters take for various reasons. Watching these veteran actors stoop to sabotage each other provides a consistent source of laughs. She’s all sharp angles, piercing looks and biting quips; he’s all round joviality, boisterous blasts and warmhearted optimism. The contrast between the British Oscar-winner and the Indian acting legend offers the only tension in this otherwise soft and gooey dish—that is, until the film goes all soft and gooey, too.

Mirren stars as Madame Mallory, owner of Le Saule Pleurer (The Weeping Willow), an elegant and expensive French restaurant that’s the winner of a prestigious Michelin star. But one star isn’t enough for the coldly driven Mme. Mallory—she wants another, and then another.

But her bloodless quest for gourmet grandeur is interrupted by the arrival across the street of an Indian family: the Kadams, who’ve been wandering around Europe ever since their beloved restaurant back home burned down during political rioting. When the brakes on their car malfunction on a treacherous stretch of spectacular countryside, Papa (Puri) insists it’s a sign from his late wife and decides to open a new eatery in the charming town at the bottom of the hill.

Never mind that one of the most celebrated restaurants in all of France is sitting right across the street from the empty building he rents. Never mind that they are in an insular part of the country where the residents probably don’t even know what Indian cuisine is, much less like it, as his children point out. He has faith in his food—and in his son, Hassan ( Manish Dayal ), a brilliant, young chef.

Just as Papa and Mme. Mallory strike up a sparky rivalry, Hassan enjoys a flirtatious relationship with French sous chef Marguerite ( Charlotte Le Bon , who played an early model and muse in the recent “Yves Saint Laurent” biopic). The script from Steven Wright (who also wrote the far trickier “ Locke ” from earlier this year, as well as “ Dirty Pretty Things ” and “ Eastern Promises ”) is full of such tidy parallels, as well as trite and overly simplistic proclamations about how food inspires memories. Dayal and Le Bon do look lovely together, though, and share a light, enjoyable chemistry.

Then again, it all looks lovely—both the French and Indian dishes as well as the lush, rolling surroundings, which we see through all four seasons; the work of cinematographer Linus Sandgren , who recently shot “American Hustle.” This sweetly pleasing combination of ingredients would have been perfectly suitable if the film didn’t take a wild and needless detour in the third act. That’s when it becomes an even less interesting movie than it already was, in spite of its loftier aspirations.

Christy Lemire

Christy Lemire

Christy Lemire is a longtime film critic who has written for since 2013. Before that, she was the film critic for The Associated Press for nearly 15 years and co-hosted the public television series "Ebert Presents At the Movies" opposite Ignatiy Vishnevetsky, with Roger Ebert serving as managing editor. Read her answers to our Movie Love Questionnaire here .

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The Hundred-Foot Journey movie poster

The Hundred-Foot Journey (2014)

122 minutes

Helen Mirren as Madam Mallory

Om Puri as Papa

Manish Dayal as Hassan Haji

Charlotte Le Bon as Marguerite

Amit Shah as Mansur

  • Lasse Hallström
  • Steven Knight
  • Richard C. Morais

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The Hundred-Foot Journey Reviews

hundred foot journey review

Mirren is drily funny, deploying an arsenal of MasterChef-style horrified reaction shots.

Full Review | Apr 7, 2023

hundred foot journey review

How wrong can you go with a comedy about beautiful people making beautiful food in the south of France? And Helen Mirren? The woman can turn 105 and she'll still be alluring, even when she's being haughty. Lots of laughs.

Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/5 | Apr 19, 2022

hundred foot journey review

It's an enjoyable film about passion; the passion for food, passion for culture but most of all, passion for life.

Full Review | Original Score: 3/5 | Feb 1, 2021

hundred foot journey review

This isn't your usual summer fare, because it cares far too much about the people whose story it is telling and it takes the time to let you get to know them.

Full Review | Original Score: 3.0/4.0 | Sep 11, 2020

hundred foot journey review

If you're into simple, pleasant movies that offer two-hour escapist entertainment, this may be for you.

Full Review | Original Score: B | Jul 20, 2020

hundred foot journey review

[A] beautifully written story.

Full Review | Feb 5, 2020

hundred foot journey review

Fulfilling, rich and delicious, The Hundred Foot Journey is an effervescent delight, sizzling with cinematic and emotional flavor.

Full Review | Dec 14, 2019

hundred foot journey review

If films about the culinary arts revolved around the same strictures to obtain something like a Michelin star rating, The Hundred-Foot Journey would always and forever be a big fat zero.

Full Review | Original Score: 1.5/5 | Aug 30, 2019

hundred foot journey review

For foodies and folks looking for the cinematic version of a poolside paperback, THE HUNDRED-FOOT JOURNEY delivers. If you're seeking something with a little artistic nutrition, you'll need to look elsewhere.

Full Review | Original Score: 2.5 | Apr 8, 2019

Overall, The Hundred-Foot Journey is not a bad dish, but considering its rich ingredients, it still lacks a bit of spice.

Full Review | Feb 27, 2019

hundred foot journey review

There's an in-built contradiction between the film's attempt to position itself as an ode to cultural understanding while also being a commercially twee depiction of that tale

Full Review | Original Score: 2/5 | Feb 25, 2019

As you might imagine, visually, it's a stunning film, and the story is endearing. Dayal and Le Bon are charming, and Helen Mirren, well, is Helen Mirren.

Full Review | Original Score: 8/10 | Dec 11, 2018

hundred foot journey review

"The Hundred-Foot Journey" is a delicious love story portraying the melting and blending of two opposing cultures.

Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4 | Aug 21, 2018

hundred foot journey review

This underachieving cooking infomercial left me starving for a decent movie experience. Cancel your reservations to this rancid soufflé.

Full Review | Aug 21, 2018

Has a lot of pedigree behind it, but is sadly unable to transcend its habit of skimming through information and any form of drama whatsoever.

Full Review | Original Score: 2/5 | Aug 13, 2018

hundred foot journey review

If you don't leave the theatre wanting to visit France and eat Indian food, then you didn't enjoy it as much as I did. [Full review in Spanish]

Full Review | Original Score: 3/4 | Jan 30, 2018

hundred foot journey review

With its fine cast, glorious setting, and countless scenes of mouthwatering menus, The Hundred-Foot Journey is an appetizing alternative to summer's superheroes and zombies.

Full Review | Original Score: 7.5/10 | Dec 3, 2017

hundred foot journey review

If you can deal with the uneven narrative - and in this case there's no reason you shouldn't - there is a lot to like about this film.

Full Review | Nov 28, 2017

Reality-bites are fleeting here. This is a food fairytale which prefers the sweet to the tart, cream to the karelas of life. Yet, it takes all those tastes to create a great dish.

Full Review | Original Score: 3/5 | Nov 14, 2017

It may play out predictably, and feature more fake fireworks than it should, but The Hundred-Foot Journey is charming, with enough heart and genuine laughs to forgive its formulaic nature.

Full Review | Original Score: 3/5 | Sep 7, 2017

  • Entertainment
  • REVIEW: Does <I>The Hundred-Foot Journey</i> Deserve One Michelin Star or Two?

REVIEW: Does The Hundred-Foot Journey Deserve One Michelin Star or Two?


W ith Steven Spielberg and Oprah Winfrey serving as producers, and a story that forges warm feelings between two generations of restaurant rivals, The Hundred-Foot Journey is on a mission to make you cry. Whether you oblige will depend on your fondness for, or immunity to, the gentler stereotypes of movie romance.

But there’s one shot that should bring tears of joy to anyone who thinks of food as something more than the stuff grabbed from a plastic bag and automatically consumed on a couch during a reality show. Early in the proceedings we are shown a plate of fresh vegetables, tomatoes mostly, that a pretty young French woman offers to weary Indian travelers. Artfully arranged and glowingly photographed, the comestibles would send moviegoers rushing avidly from the auditorium to the lobby — if the concession stand were a neighborhood stall run by Edesia, the goddess of banquets .

(SEE: TIME’s flavorfully illustrated list of the Top 8 Food Movies )

The food, traditional French cuisine or the livelier Indian masala, looks delicious: what Los Angeles Times writer Jenn Harris, in an interview with Indian-American chef Floyd Cardoz, calls a “ sumptuous buffet of gastro-porn .” Although Harris was referring to the preparations by Cardoz and other cooks of the film’s incredible edibles, Spielberg and Winfrey wouldn’t mind if viewers applied the phrase to the whole movie. They want you to swallow, in one savory sitting, their tale of colliding cultures reaching an entente cordiale. That particular buffet demands a more generous palate.

Winfrey chose Richard C. Morais’ novel for her 2010 reading list and teamed with Spielberg, who had directed her in The Color Purple nearly three decades ago, to bring the story to the screen. As director they hired Lasse Hallstrom, who specializes in upmarket sentiment and in films with food-related titles: What’s Eating Gilbert Grape , The Cider House Rules , Salmon Fishing in the Yemen . His signature food movie was Chocolat , a highly caloric confection about an outsider (Juliet Binoche) who opens a pastry shop in a French village, horrifies the locals, outrages the mayor (Albert Molina) and eventually seduces all of them with her bewitching sweets. With Johnny Depp on hand as Binoche’s roguish ally, Chocolat became Hallstrom’s biggest box-office hit.

(READ: Richard Schickel’s review of Chocolat )

In The Hundred-Foot Journey , the outsiders are Papa (Bollywood stalwart Om Puri), his son Hassan (Manish Dayal) and their family of Mumbai restaurateurs, sent packing when their establishment is torched by fanatics and Papa’s wife (the great beauty Juhi Chawla) is incinerated in the fire. The French village they wind up in is the almost obscenely picturesque Saint-Antonin-Noble-Val, in the Midi-Pyrénées, and the wavering mayor this time is Michel Blanc. The family’s most obstinate rival — Mme. Mallory, who owns the one-star restaurant 100 feet across the street from where Papa sets up his noisy Maison Mumbai — is played by Helen Mirren with her chin held high in defiance; Queen Elizabeth might think Mirren’s manner too imperious. And Hassan finds love and competition with Mme. Mallory’s sous-chef Marguerite (Charlotte Le Bon).

The journey in the novel was essentially Hassan’s. A budding genius in creating dishes both Indian and French, he hopes to rise through the gastronomic ranks and become the most innovative chef at the hottest restaurant in Paris. He is a human version of Remy the rodent in Pixar’s Ratatouille , conquering French-foodie snobbishness with his culinary inspirations. Screenwriter Steven Knight, who has scripted modern crime movies ( Eastern Promises ) and stately period pieces ( Amazing Grace ), as well as directing the Tom-Hardy-in-a-car movie Locke , makes room for the Hassan story, but promotes age — the slow-boiling friendship of Papa and Madame — over youth and beauty.

(READ: Corliss on Tom Hardy, trapped in a car, in Steven Knight’s Locke )

Mme. Mallory’s interest in Hassan, once he convinces her of his expertise, is a matter of pride. For 30 years, her restaurant, Le Saule Pleureur (The Weeping Willow), has carried an honored but equivocal one star, out of a possible three, from the Michelin guide to French cuisine. She wants that second star and thinks the gifted Hassan can help her get it. (It happens that, a couple hundred miles to the east, in Monteux, there is an actual establishment by that name. An online reviewer wrote, “This restaurant has one Michelin star and easily deserves another.”)

As Madame, Dame Helen anglicizes aspects of two revered French actresses who might have been more suitable for the role: imagine a frosty Isabelle Huppert who thaws into Catherine Deneuve. Because this is a movie aimed at Americans, Mirren must speak English in a stern, borderline-ludicrous French accent — both to Papa and Hassan, who confer with each other in Marathi and speak perfect English but perhaps not French, and to her French kitchen staff. “In English,” she says to her balky chef Jean-Pierre (Clément Sibony), “so we can all understand.” This time, the royal “we” that Mirren used in The Queen means the non-francophone audience.

(READ: How Helen Mirren reigned and triumphed in The Queen )

If the poetry of this Franco-Indian alliance gets lost in translation, the visuals sing ecstasy in any language. Cinematographer Linus Sandgren, fresh from making the actors in American Hustle look fabulously tatty, brings radiance not just to each morsel of food but also to the dewy closeups of Dayal (born in Orangeburg, S.C.) and Le Bon (from the recent bio-pic Yves Saint Laurent ) as the lovers-in-waiting. The movie revels in scenes of dappled soft-focus — you never saw so many dapples! — and punctuates the Spielberg-starry night sky with fireworks for every occasion. Though it must acknowledge Mama’s charred death, and a spate of anti-immigrant enmity (the scrawling of “French for the French” on a Maison Mumbai wall), the film is eager to seem good enough to eat.

The one moment of earned poignancy comes when Hassan goes across the street to work at Le Seule Pleureur, and Papa offers him his treasured box of Indian spices. “They have their own spices,” the young man says in the softest tones of renunciation. In a new land, the young must learn from their old-country past, use some parts and reject others, to become a success. That’s how you season the melting pot. At this moment, viewers may shrug off the glutinous manipulations of The Hundred-Foot Journey and give it a second star in the Michelin guide to comfort-food movies.

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Movie Reviews

Movie review: 'the hundred-foot journey'.

Kenneth Turan

Films that mix food and romance have become a staple of recent movie-making. The Hundred-Foot Journey, starring Helen Mirren , is the latest example.

Copyright © 2014 NPR. All rights reserved. Visit our website terms of use and permissions pages at for further information.

NPR transcripts are created on a rush deadline by an NPR contractor. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Accuracy and availability may vary. The authoritative record of NPR’s programming is the audio record.

The Hundred-Foot Journey (2014)

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Film Review: ‘The Hundred-Foot Journey’

Lasse Hallstrom returns to 'Chocolat' territory with this overlong serving of cinematic comfort food.

By Justin Chang

Justin Chang

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"The Hundred-Foot Journey"

Beef bourguignon or tandoori goat? Career success or family loyalty? You can actually have it all, according to “ The Hundred-Foot Journey ,” a culture-clash dramedy that presents itself as the most soothing brand of cinematic comfort food. As such, this genteel, overlong adaptation of Richard C. Morais’ 2010 novel about two rival restaurants operating in a sleepy French village is not without its pleasures — a high-energy score by A.R. Rahman, exquisite gastro-porn shot by Linus Sandgren, the winningly barbed chemistry of Helen Mirren and Om Puri — all prepared to exacting middlebrow specifications and ensured to go down as tastily and tastefully as possible. With the formidable backing of Steven Spielberg and Oprah Winfrey (who produced with Juliet Blake), the DreamWorks concoction should cater to a broad array of arthouse appetites, particularly among those viewers who embraced the similar East-meets-West fusion cuisine of “The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel.”

If this Old World foodie fairy tale feels like an odd fit for screenwriter Steven Knight — best known for his gritty London underworld thrillers, and coming off an unusually adventurous directing debut with “Locke” — it’s worth recalling that his scripts for the much edgier “Eastern Promises” and “Dirty Pretty Things” were directly concerned with the hostilities bred in and around specific immigrant communities. Still, with its cozy, crowd-pleasing temperament, the new film represents all-too-familiar territory for director Lasse Hallstrom, whose superficially similar “Chocolat” offered up a smug little parable about the triumph of sensual indulgence and liberal tolerance over stifling small-town conformity. The culture war examined in “The Hundred-Foot Journey” is a bit less one-sided: It contrasts the heat and intensity of Indian cooking with the elegance and refinement of French haute cuisine, then balances the two with a feel-good lesson in ethnic harmony.

Popular on Variety

Fleeing a tragic uprising in their native Mumbai for a more idyllic life in Europe, the Kadam family, led by their proudly outspoken Papa (Puri), decide to open an Indian restaurant in the South of France. Alas, they soon find that they have merely abandoned one war zone for another, as their scrappy new Maison Mumbai, with its open-air seating and free-wandering chickens, is soon locked in a fierce competition with the classy Michelin-starred establishment located just 100 feet across the road. That restaurant, Le Saule Pleureur, is run by the widowed Madame Mallory (Mirren), an unyielding perfectionist and proud defender of Gallic tradition whose first glimpse of her brown-skinned neighbors prompts her to sniff, “Who are zees people?”

Zees people, little does she realize, include one of the most talented young cooks in Europe. That would be our protagonist, Hassan Kadam (Manish Dayal), who soon begins a sly flirtation with Le Saule Pleureur’s beautiful sous chef, Marguerite (Charlotte Le Bon); she in turn introduces him to the venerable tradition of French cooking, which he becomes determined to master. The tension between these two characters, sexual as well as professional, is something the film keeps on a low simmer behind the more fiery confrontations between Papa and Madame Mallory, neither of whom is afraid to resort to all manner of competitive sabotage — whether it means sneakily buying up all the crayfish at the farmers market, or filing complaints with the mayor (Michel Blanc), humorously depicted as something of a gourmand himself.

Amid all this fun but childish oneupsmanship, Knight and Hallstrom gently milk all the expected stereotypes for humor and conflict: The French are snobs with their hoity-toity manners and expensive food, and they’re deeply affronted by the thrifty, tacky Indians with their colorful clothes and loud music. France’s ugly history of racial aggression and unrest, particularly relevant at the present moment, briefly punctures the film’s placid surface when local thugs attack and nearly burn down Maison Mumbai. But rather than lighting a fuse, this trauma is what begins to unite the Kadams and Madame Mallory, who soon realizes that Hassan is not only an exceptional cook, especially when armed with his family’s prized spice box, but possibly the missing ingredient that could earn Le Saule Pleureur its second Michelin star.

And so “The Hundred-Foot Journey” becomes a story in which cultural opposites not only learn to coexist, but are in fact triumphantly and even romantically reconciled. It may be set in France, but really, it could be taking place in any movie-manufactured fantasyland where enemies become the best of friends, and an embittered old shrew turns out to have a heart of gold (and, as Papa appreciatively notes, looks rather fetching beneath the glow of computer-generated Bastille Day fireworks). Morais’ novel was described by the New York Times’ Ligaya Mishan as a hybrid of “Slumdog Millionaire” and “Ratatouille,” and Hallstrom seems to have taken that Hollywood formulation to heart: Like “Slumdog,” the film is an underdog story set to the infectious backbeat of Rahman’s music (fun fact: Knight created the original British version of “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire”), and like “Ratatouille,” it brings us into an irresistible world of culinary sophistication and features gorgeous nighttime views of Paris, where Hassan eventually arrives in search of his destiny.

Where the film really overreaches is its attempt to reproduce “Ratatouille’s” glorious Proustian moment, that perfect bite of food that induces a heartbreaking recollection of childhood. This wannabe epiphany arrives deep into a draggy third act, during which the script and the handsome Dayal struggle to give Hassan some semblance of a conflicted inner life, but the character, much like his meteoric rise to the top ranks of international chefdom, remains something of a sketch. It’s the older, top-billed leads who manage the heavy lifting: Though she’s encumbered somewhat by her French accent, Mirren is superb at both projecting an air of hauteur and expressing the vulnerability beneath it, and she brings out a similar mix of pride and feeling in Puri’s Papa, an excellent sparring partner whose stubbornness and drive to succeed never come at the expense of his love for his family.

Shot on 35mm in luminous, sun-dappled tones in the French village of Saint-Antonin-Noble-Val (with some second-unit work in India), and handsomely appointed by production designer David Gropman and costume designer Pierre-Yves Gayraud, the film is also distinguished by its mouth-watering visual buffet, whether lingering on vats of steaming red curry or a perfectly plated pigeon with truffles. This is, no question, an easy picture to succumb to — perhaps too easy, if its tidy narrative symmetries and its belief in the socially redemptive power of pleasure are any indication. Scrumptious as it all is, it hurts to watch chefs so committed to excellence in a movie so content to settle for attractive mediocrity.

Reviewed at Disney Studios, Burbank, Calif., July 23, 2014. (In Locarno Film Festival — Piazza Grande.) MPAA Rating: PG. Running time: 122 MIN.

  • Production: A Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures release of a DreamWorks Pictures and Reliance Entertainment presentation in association with Participant Media and Image Nation of an Amblin Entertainment/Harpo Films production. Produced by Steven Spielberg, Oprah Winfrey, Juliet Blake. Executive producers, Caroline Hewitt, Carla Gardini, Jeff Skoll, Jonathan King. Co-producers, Holly Bario, Raphael Benoliel.
  • Crew: Directed by Lasse Hallstrom. Screenplay, Steven Knight, based on the novel by Richard C. Morais. Camera (color, widescreen, 35mm), Linus Sandgren; editor, Andrew Mondshein; music, A.R. Rahman; music supervisor, E. Gedney Webb; production designer, David Gropman; supervising art directors, Karen Schulz Gropman, Alain Guffroy; set decorator, Sabine Delouvrier; costume designer, Pierre-Yves Gayraud; sound (Datasat/Dolby Digital), Jean-Marie Blondel; supervising sound editor, Michael Kirchberger; sound designers, Dave Paterson, Kirchberger; re-recording mixers, Michael Barry, Paterson; special effects supervisor, Philippe Hubin; special effects coordinator, Jean-Christophe Magnaud; visual effects supervisor, Brendan Taylor; visual effects producer, Mitchell Ferm; visual effects, Mavericks VFX, Mr. X, Lola VFX; stunt coordinator, Dominique Fouassier; assistant director, Mishka Cheyko; second unit camera, Hugues Espinasse; casting, Lucy Bevan.
  • With: Helen Mirren, Om Puri, Manish Dayal, Charlotte Le Bon, Amit Shah, Farzana Dua Elahe, Dillon Mitra, Aria Pandya, Michel Blanc. (English, French, Hindi dialogue)

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‘the hundred-foot journey’: film review.

Helen Mirren and Om Puri play rival restaurateurs in Disney's big-screen adaptation of a food-forward novel.

By Sheri Linden

Sheri Linden

Senior Copy Editor/Film Critic

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'The Hundred-Foot Journey': Film Review

With its picture-postcard setting and mouthwatering Indian and French delicacies, The Hundred-Foot Journey is a movie designed to comfort. Stimulating taste buds and little else, Lasse Hallstrom ’s latest film picks up where his 2000 hit Chocolat left off, in terms of the affectionate shaming of provincial Gallic villagers. Starring Helen Mirren and  Om Puri as rival restaurateurs in the Midi-Pyrenees region of France, the film tracks a tension-free lesson in cultural exchange that culminates, predictably, in romance. Fans of the source best-seller and seekers of non-challenging counterprogramming to summer’s genre fare will savor the offering. But colorful locales and exotic spices can’t hide its essential blandness.

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The comic drama follows a Mumbai family’s move to France, where a conveniently available run-down mansion/restaurant gives them the chance to resurrect the business they lost back home in devastating circumstances. Papa (Puri), a father of five and an unstoppable force who still communes with his deceased wife, soon butts heads with Mirren’s Madame Mallory, who runs the elegant eatery directly across the road. Hers is a bastion of classical French cuisine and the proud bearer of a Michelin star. Madame wants a second one. She’s so downright spiteful that the eventual melting of her heart is a given.

The thawing begins halfway through the movie, with an act of xenophobic violence against the Indian family that proves only a minor blip for the characters, even for Papa’s injured son Hassan ( Manish Dayal ). A gifted cook who’s fascinated with French culinary tradition, he falls for Marguerite ( Charlotte Le Bon ), Madame’s sous-chef, as they explore the bounty of the farmers’ market and the local terrain. Their story’s trajectory is as unsurprising as most everything else in the fairy-tale-tinged film, but Le Bon brings a nice touch of passive-aggressive competitiveness to her role when Hassan’s career takes off.

Screenwriter Steven Knight ’s adaptation of the foodie-friendly novel by Richard C. Morais resolves conflicts quickly and places morsels of platitude about the “flavors of life” in characters’ mouths. For anyone who didn’t see Ratatouille , there are helpful reminders that “food is memories.”

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But the main course is the dance between Madame Mallory and Papa, however transparent the clash between her carefully composed plates and his bold flavors. Whether they’re filing ridiculous complaints about each other with the unflappable mayor ( Michel Blanc ), arguing over the proper presentation of ingredients or sharing a cafe table, Mirren and Puri bring an effortless command to their roles. 

Production companies: Amblin Entertainment/Harpo Films Cast: Helen Mirren, Om Puri, Manish Dayal, Charlotte Le Bon, Amit Shah, Farzana Dua Elahe, Dillon Mitra, Aria Pandya, Michel Blanc, Clement Sibony, Vincent Elbaz, Juhi Chawla, Alban Aumard, Shuna Lemoine, Antoine Blanquefort Director: Lasse Hallstrom Screenwriter: Steven Knight Producers: Steven Spielberg, Oprah Winfrey, Juliet Blake Executive producers: Caroline Hewitt, Carla Gardini, Jeff Skoll, Jonathan King Director of photography: Linus Sandgren Production designer: David Gropman Costume designer: Pierre-Yves Gayraud Editor: Andrew Mondshein Composer: A.R. Rahman

Rated PG, 122 minutes

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10 mistakes george lucas made in the prequel trilogy that still haunt star wars 25 years later, james bond already proved the best way to reboot the franchise, 18 years ago, the hundred-foot journey is a by the numbers, yet charming, handsome, and well-acted dramedy that the whole family can enjoy..

The Hundred-Foot Journey  tells the story of Hassan Kadam, who at an early age discovers he has a nose for good food and a passion for cooking. Young Hassan (Manish Dayal) and his family experience personal tragedy as a result of political strife within India, forcing them to flee their home country. The Kadams (with a little push from fate) eventually wind up settling down in the French countryside, where their patriarch "Papa" (Om Puri) decides to buy a dilapidated piece of property and restart the family's restaurant business.

Problem is, across the road from the Kadams' new home (one hundred feet away, to be exact) is one of the more prestigious French restaurants in the country - a well-oiled machine run by the hard-working proprietress Madame Mallory (Helen Mirren). At first the two establishments go to war, but over time the ice begins to thaw between them - especially as Ms. Mallory comes to realize that Hassan's unusual appreciation for Indian and French cuisine means he possesses all the more potential to become a great chef.

Hundred-Foot Journey  is a film adaptation of the novel written by Richard C. Morais, which features powerhouses Steven Spielberg and Oprah Winfrey serving as producers and Steven Knight ( Locke ) on screenwriting duties. The cultural clash drama/comedy setup touches upon issues concerning racial/class-based tensions and related problems in Europe, but unlike the gritty social realism drama/thrillers that Knight has written in the past (see:  Dirty Pretty Things ,  Eastern Promises , etc.)  Hundred-Foot Journey  adds a spoonful of sugar to help the medicine go down easier.

On the whole, Hundred-Foot Journey  tends to be quite predictable and lacking in subtly when it comes to presenting its themes; at the same time, though, it's cleanly-structured (thanks to Knight's neat and tidy compression of the source material) and, overall, the film works as charming and generally light-hearted entertainment that's appropriate for a family audience. Part of the credit for that also goes to director Lasse Hallström ( Chocolat , Salmon Fishing in the Yemen ), who delivers a mix of drama, comedy, and romance that is on the whole pleasant, well-paced, and perfectly handsome, visually-speaking.

Hallström and his director of photography Linus Sandgren ( American Hustle ) fill just about every frame of Hundred-Foot Journey with either a sunlight-bathed backdrop and/or a lovely snapshot of the locations in France where the movie was filmed; the film's use of old-fashioned editing transitions between scenes (ex. curtain wipes) only adds to the good feelings. The only problem is that such technical elements don't really bring out any deeper meaning in the story, so by the end, Hundred-Foot Journey feels closer to being a pretty postcard instead of a rich painting.

Helen Mirren is the most recognizable star in Hundred-Foot Journey (and thus, she's been featured heavily in the film's marketing), but in a refreshing twist the story is not just about Hassan - it's also very much told from his perspective. Manish Dayal brings a nice blend of wide-eyed innocence, determination, and vulnerability to the character with his performance, making Hassan's journey enjoyable to watch (even though you'll know ahead of time  exactly where it's headed).

Similarly, Charlotte Le Bon as Marguerite - an up and coming chef who works for M. Mallory and befriends Hassan early on - has an easy-going chemistry with Dayal and is given just enough meaty script material to allow the character to feel like more than a run of the mill romantic interest. The relationship between Mirren and Dayal's characters feels authentic and helps to drive the plot forward, but Le Bon and Dayal's spiritual connection is what forms the beating "heart" of Hundred-Foot Journey .

Mirren's storyline in Hundred-Foot Journey revolve largely around her evolving relationship with Om Puri as Hassan's father; the pair might even spend more screen time together with one another than with Dayal, for that matter. Either way, Mirren and Puri help to ground their characters and bring more humanity to two people who could've easily come off more as cultural stereotypes (the uptight French woman and outspoken Indian father, respectively). Again, many a filmgoer will be able to spot the final destination of their subplot well before it gets there, but the actors make the trip worth taking anyway.

That's Hundred-Foot Journey , is a nutshell: quite fluffy and conventional, yet perfectly easy to sit back and enjoy thanks to the solid direction, affable performances from the cast, and a rousing original score by Oscar-winner A.R. Rahman ( Slumdog Millionaire ). Which is to say,  The Hundred-Foot Journey is a by the numbers, yet charming, handsome, and well-acted dramedy that the whole family can enjoy. Those who are in the mood to watch a foodie movie that's easy on the eyes and offers just about something for everyone (well, excerpt for little kids, that is), might want to consider giving this one a look at some point.

The Hundred-Foot Journey is now playing in U.S. theaters. It is 122 minutes long and is Rated PG for thematic elements, some violence, language and brief sensuality.

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The Hundred-Foot Journey, film review: Fiery performances from Helen Mirren and Om Puri in culinary culture-clash comedy

(pg) lasse hallström, 122 mins starring: helen mirren, om puri, charlotte le bon, manish dayal, article bookmarked.

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French fancy: Helen Mirren in The Hundred-Foot Journey

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The Hundred-Foot Journey is a culinary culture-clash comedy enlivened by fiery performances from Helen Mirren and Om Puri but which, like so many other Lasse Hallström films, slowly turns to gloop the longer it lasts.

Puri is as funny here as he was in East Is East and My Son the Fanatic. He plays the patriarch of an Indian family which has moved to Europe after their restaurant in Mumbai is destroyed in a riot. His wife has died in the fire. The family first set up home in West London but quickly decide that the "vegetables have no soul".

When their rickety old van breaks down in an idyllic village in the south of France, Papa (Puri) decides this is a sign that the family should open an Indian restaurant there. The hitch is that their premises are bang opposite the Michelin-starred restaurant run by the imperious Madame Mallory (Mirren).

It is a pleasure to watch two such accomplished scene-stealers as Mirren and Puri vying with each other on screen. After a while, we even get used to Mirren's 'Allo 'Allo-style French accent.

Papa's son Hassan (Manish Dayal) is a genius in the kitchen who eventually masters French cuisine and falls in love with the beautiful French chef Marguerite (Charlotte Le Bon).

Hallström shoots the movie in his usual picture-postcard fashion, throwing in shots of gorgeous French landscapes and plenty of fetishistic close- ups of the food. The charm of the early scenes is undermined by the mushiness and predictability with which the rest of the film unfolds.

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The hundred-foot journey, common sense media reviewers.

hundred foot journey review

Cultures clash in the kitchen in warm family drama.

The Hundred-Foot Journey Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this movie.

Home is wherever your family is. The film also str

Hassan is briefly seduced by fame and fortune, but

An angry mob storms a restaurant and burns it to t

Two characters share a few kisses, and in one scen

Some characters use the British exclamation "blood

Repeated mentions of the Michelin guide to French

Adults often drink wine with meals. One character

Parents need to know that Lasse Hallstrom's The Hundred-Food Journey follows the journey of Hassan (Manish Dayal), a young and extremely talented chef, and his/his family's culture clash with rival restaurateur Madame Mallory (Helen Mirren). The many mouth-watering food scenes are often accompanied by wine,…

Positive Messages

Home is wherever your family is. The film also stresses the importance of accepting differences in other people, including cultures and cuisines. Love of family and cooking are prominent themes.

Positive Role Models

Hassan is briefly seduced by fame and fortune, but he eventually realizes that family is more important. A snobby woman learns that she should be more open to accepting people who have different customs.

Violence & Scariness

An angry mob storms a restaurant and burns it to the ground, leading to a sad death. Later, two men deface and try to burn down another building in the dead of night; a main character is injured as a result of the fire.

Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Violence & Scariness in your kid's entertainment guide.

Sex, Romance & Nudity

Two characters share a few kisses, and in one scene, they emerge from a back room hastily putting their clothes back on, suggesting they've shared an intimate moment.

Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Sex, Romance & Nudity in your kid's entertainment guide.

Some characters use the British exclamation "bloody"; also a mumbled use of "s--t," plus "hell" and "oh God."

Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Language in your kid's entertainment guide.

Products & Purchases

Repeated mentions of the Michelin guide to French dining and its famous star system for rating restaurants.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Adults often drink wine with meals. One character is later shown drinking frequently to suggest that he's slipping into depression.

Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Drinking, Drugs & Smoking in your kid's entertainment guide.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that Lasse Hallstrom 's The Hundred-Food Journey follows the journey of Hassan (Manish Dayal), a young and extremely talented chef, and his/his family's culture clash with rival restaurateur Madame Mallory ( Helen Mirren ). The many mouth-watering food scenes are often accompanied by wine, and there are some scenes in which one character starts to drink a bit more heavily (to suggest depression). Two brief moments feature some violence (including one in which men throw fire bombs) -- one of which causes a sad death. There are also a few romantic kisses and suggestions of intimacy and language along the lines of "bloody." To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails .

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Based on 5 parent reviews

Absolutely fantastic!

Excellent clean movie, what's the story.

After unrest drives them away from their native India to London, Hassan (Manish Dayal) and his family take to the road and find themselves stranded when their brakes fail in a small French town. Hassan's father decides it's just the spot to open an Indian restaurant. Directly across the street, Madame Mallory ( Helen Mirren ) runs another restaurant, one with a long, proud tradition of fine French dining -- and possessed of a famed Michelin star. She's not happy with her new neighbors and declares war on their rival eatery. Meanwhile, Hassan starts to fall for Marguerite, the sous chef in Mallory's kitchen, who teaches him the basics of French cuisine.

Is It Any Good?

Like beef bourguignon, one of the many dishes filmed so delectably in this production, THE HUNDRED-FOOT JOURNEY is a crowd-pleasing classic. The family story, told with empathy and love here, is its base; the food scenes that are odes to the art of cooking, framed through a cross-cultural prism, are its mea; and the gorgeous French countryside and melodic Indian music are its garnish. It's a delight to watch, especially because of the cast.

But, also just like beef bourguignon, it's not particularly inventive, even if the story centers around a young man's ingenuity in the kitchen. You know what you're getting. A true master chef -- as director Lasse Hallstrom has revealed himself to be in many previous turns at the helm -- would take a classic and turn it into something transcendent, adding elements that transform, rather than just substituting one ingredient (the location, perhaps) for another and hoping it feels different. Still, the film is big-hearted and filling enough -- so filling that it runs too long, actually -- to be a pleasant enough cinematic meal.

Talk to Your Kids About ...

Families can talk about bias. What does Madame Mallory think about Hassan and his family when she first meets them? Why? How do her opinions change?

Why are movies about food and cooking so appealing? How does this one compare to others you've seen?

Movie Details

  • In theaters : August 8, 2014
  • On DVD or streaming : December 2, 2014
  • Cast : Helen Mirren , Charlotte Le Bon , Manish Dayal , Om Puri
  • Director : Lasse Hallstrom
  • Inclusion Information : Female actors, Indian/South Asian actors
  • Studio : Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures
  • Genre : Drama
  • Topics : Cooking and Baking
  • Run time : 122 minutes
  • MPAA rating : PG
  • MPAA explanation : thematic elements, some violence, language and brief sensuality
  • Last updated : April 24, 2024

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The Hundred-Foot Journey

By Peter Travers

Peter Travers

Helen Mirren looks delicious. So does the food. What more do you want in summer movie escapism? OK, a ban on cultural stereotyping, fewer clichés, and a pace less conducive to napping. Still, unlike the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles reboot, The Hundred-Foot Journey is a time-waster that goes down easy. Based on Richard C. Morais’ 2010 bestseller, the movie is set in a picturesque French village that only has room for one restaurant. That would be the Michelin-starred Le Saule Pleureur, an elegant boite run by the widowed Madame Mallory (Mirren) with an iron hand and an outrageous Gallic accent. The Madame practically faints dead away when the newly arrived Kadam family, led by a strict patriarch (the great Om Puri), decide to open an Indian restaurant, Maison Mumbai, only 100-feet across the street. Mon Dieu! Those Indian spices and French sauces are soon at war with each other. Ditto the Madame and Papa. All of which leads, after a few dollops of racial antagonism, to love and harmony. Did I mention that Papa has a chef son, Hassan (Manish Dayal), who falls for Madame’s sous chef, Marguerite (Charlotte Le Bon)? Well, he does. Hassan ends up training with Madame, a process that works so well that he moves up and out to become the culinary toast of Paris and an arrogant prick. The heavy plot sauce weighs down the movie. Director Lasse Hallstrom had similar buoyancy problems in 2000’s bewilderingly Oscar-nominated Chocolat . Here he lucks out big time with Mirren and Puri, two pros who know how to lift an audience over plot hurdles and turn a merely digestable diversion into a treat. Linus Sandgren’s camera caresses the cuisine like an ecstatic lover. It brought out the foodie in me.

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hundred foot journey review

  • DVD & Streaming

The Hundred-Foot Journey

  • Comedy , Drama , Romance

Content Caution

hundred foot journey review

In Theaters

  • August 8, 2014
  • Helen Mirren as Madame Mallory; Om Puri as Papa; Manish Dayal as Hassan; Charlotte Le Bon as Marguerite; Amit Shah as Mansur; Farzana Dua Elahe as Mahira

Home Release Date

  • December 2, 2014
  • Lasse Hallström


  • Walt Disney

Movie Review

Madame Mallory has wished upon a star. A second Michelin star, to be exact.

For 30 years, Madame Mallory’s swanky restaurant has worn its single Michelin star rating as a badge of honor, as well it should. Michelin does not readily dole out its stars. As Madame’s sous chef Marguerite says, one star means the food is good. Two stands for great. “Three is only for the gods.”

The acquisition of those stars requires talent, hard work and single-minded dedication. They do not fall unbidden. And they do not stumble into town along with a pack of loud, uncouth vagabonds. Madame is quite certain of that .

The vagabonds, a certain displaced Indian family—Papa and his grown sons Hassan and Mansur, along with Mansur’s wife and kids—has indeed seen better days. Their restaurant in Mumbai was burned to the ground. Their stay in London was unfruitfully damp. They came to the Continent looking for a fresh start—a chance to open another restaurant and introduce new friends to the spicy, sublime pleasures of Indian cuisine.

France wasn’t initially a contender. They all know that the French have their own food, and it’s said to be pretty good. But when the brakes go out on their dump of a vehicle (just outside Madame Mallory’s village) and Papa stumbles upon a property just perfect for a restaurant (just across the street from Madame Mallory’s fine dining establishment), he sees it as fate. And so, quicker than Madame can crack eggs for a nice hollandaise, she has boisterous new neighbors—and competitors to boot.

Well. For Madame and her perpetual quest for a second star, this new Indian restaurant is the stuff of nightmare. Its garish decor clashes with her refined sensibility. Indian music now blares over her violin-drenched ambiance. The odor of curry and cardamom overwhelm the subtle scents of her kitchen. She launches a cold war before Papa even opens his restaurant—waged through fish and pigeons and formal complaints to the village leaders.

As Papa and Madame battle and bully each other, Hassan humbly cooks his extraordinary Indian food for guests. Then he retreats to his room and combs through French cookbooks, absorbing the secrets of continental cuisine page by page.

Madame has her eyes fixed on a second Michelin star, but searching for it has blinded her to the quiet culinary light across the street.

Positive Elements

As Hassan’s father and his entrenched French rival escalate their gastronomical disagreement, Hassan tries to turn down the flame. He gives Madame a menu as a friendly gesture (which she uses as a guide to stripping the local market of all the ingredients they need). When Papa strikes back by snapping up the pigeons Madame needs for a special dish for a special guest, Hassan cooks one himself and brings it over as a peace offering. (Madame tastes it and throws it in the trash.) And when he and his family are subjected to racist attacks, Hassan doesn’t get angry or vengeful. He’s single-minded, it would seem, on his quest to bring new tastes to light—and his idea that food can bring people together. (Note that the film is flecked with hints of racism for the purpose of showing the trials Papa and his family must suffer through—and to show us how wrongheaded it all is.)

Food does bring Hassan together with Marguerite. Even though she jokes that Hassan’s now “the enemy,” she helps him hone his talents—loaning him books, giving him tips and tasting his creations. Indeed, it’s her kindness that’s partly to blame for Papa staying in town, having helped tow their car and serving them some pretty amazing local food.

Madame herself proves to be a kinder person than we initially see. When Papa’s restaurant is attacked by vandals who set fire to the building and scrawl racist slogans across the front wall, Madame takes steps to literally mend fences. She fires a culprit who works for her (“You are a chef—I do not pay you to burn things”) and trudges out in the rain to scrub the vile slogans off Papa’s wall.

Madame’s actions lead to a thaw in relations, and we eventually come to see that Hassan was only partly right: Yes, food helped bring these two disparate parties together. But it also took good will, trust and respect—a good recipe for us all to follow.

Spiritual Elements

Papa and his family are not presented as being overtly religious, certainly not in a traditional Indian sense. Hassan’s mother hints at the spiritual while teaching him to cook, saying the things he must kill to create the cuisine become ghosts in the stew, as it were. After this matriarch dies, Papa admits that he still talks with her. He believes his late wife wants (in the present tense) to settle down in the French village and buy the for-sale restaurant. “She says brakes break for a reason,” he tells one of his sons, and later gives Hassan his mother’s spices, saying, “She wants you to have it.” He and others briefly talk about praying and/or heaven.

As mentioned, the Michelin stars are several times casually linked to “gods.” When Hassan seeks Marguerite’s “blessing” for a new culinary adventure, Marguerite snaps that she’s not a saint. “Neither am I,” Hassan says.

Sexual Content

Hassan and Marguerite are rivals, friends and sometimes more. Hassan steals a smooch when they hunt for mushrooms. Later, the two share a passionate kiss in the kitchen. Then the two retreat to another room and emerge a bit later looking a little ruffled.

Madame Mallory holds up a limp asparagus spear to illustrate what her restaurant will not put up with: “Food is not an old, tired marriage,” she says. “It is a passionate affair of the heart.”

Violent Content

We see rioters invading Papa’s restaurant in Mumbai, overturning tables and setting the place on fire. Papa’s wife is caught in the blaze, and we see her surrounded by flames. She dies in the inferno.

In France, racist attackers again try to set Papa’s place ablaze, throwing Molotov cocktails into the building. Papa and the rest extinguish the flames, but not before Hassan’s hands are badly burned and his pant leg catches on fire. An out-of-control car nearly crashes. A bicyclist smashes into a truck. Recited lyrics from the French national anthem reference slit throats and blood flowing in the fields.

Crude or Profane Language

One s-word. One “h—.” Several uses of “bloody.” God’s name is misused a handful of times.

Drug and Alcohol Content

Wine and champagne are integral parts of classic French cuisine, and we see most of these characters drink. When Hassan goes to Paris, he seems to drink more than usual—swallowing wine as he cooks and downing what appears to be a beer after hours. (These particular indulgences are intended to make a statement about Hassan growing more distant from his roots and the things he loves.)

Other Negative Elements

Papa is sometimes not treated with the greatest respect. “I am still head of this family!” he reminds his brood. A kitchen porter is bribed.

Food has always been a unifying agent. We bond over bacon, swap stories over sarsaparilla. When I want to talk with someone about business, we do lunch. If my wife and I want to get together with friends we’ve not seen for a while, we invite ’em for dinner. Almost every social experience I can think of, be it the Super Bowl or Thanksgiving, is at least partly about the food.

Food brings us together.

The Hundred-Foot Journey is about a clash of cultures in which the food becomes a metaphor. Madame Mallory is a picture of elegant cuisine, boasting polished presentation and restrained, subtle vitality. Papa is an embodiment of his beloved Indian tastes—full of forceful flavors and boisterous life. Hassan, in melding these two different gastronomical delights, brings disparate cultures closer together. Both are still distinct and unique. But we realize that each has merit and, when blended, can create a taste heretofore unimagined.

The Hundred-Foot Journey , based on the novel of the same name by Richard C. Morais, is a sweet and savory treat of a film with only hints of content-derived sourness—a love story ragoût of romance, family and food. It stresses the importance of all those things, while suggesting that fame and fortune and even Michelin stars aren’t that filling after all.

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Paul Asay has been part of the Plugged In staff since 2007, watching and reviewing roughly 15 quintillion movies and television shows. He’s written for a number of other publications, too, including Time, The Washington Post and Christianity Today. The author of several books, Paul loves to find spirituality in unexpected places, including popular entertainment, and he loves all things superhero. His vices include James Bond films, Mountain Dew and terrible B-grade movies. He’s married, has two children and a neurotic dog, runs marathons on occasion and hopes to someday own his own tuxedo. Feel free to follow him on Twitter @AsayPaul.

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The Silver Petticoat Review

The Hundred-Foot Journey (2014) Film Review – A Beautiful Exploration of Culture, Family and Food

The hundred-foot journey summary.

After the devastating losses of their family restaurant and their matriarch, the Kadam family leave India and head for Europe. They wander in search of a place where they can settle as well as open a new restaurant. Papa Kadam notices a property for sale in the small French village of Saint-Antonin. However, there are many reasons why it is not a good investment. One of which is due to the successful Michelin star rated restaurant only one hundred feet across the road. His family names other reasons to be deterred; no one in the French village will be interested in Indian food, the previous owners were not able to run a restaurant there successfully, among others. But Papa’s conversations with his deceased wife and his confidence in his son Hassan’s skills as a cook override all other concerns.

Hundred-Foot Journey

Hassan is excited to put to use the skills his mother taught him in the kitchen. He has also befriended a local girl named Marguerite. She works for the formidable Madame Mallory in the restaurant across the road. Hassan realizes that in order for his family business to succeed they must all adapt to the culture and the food. Marguerite is helpful to him in this regard. But Madame Mallory does everything she can to make it difficult for their business to succeed. She lodges complaints with the town mayor about minor infractions and purchases up all the ingredients they need before they can get to the market.

When a bigoted man attacks the Kadam restaurant, Hassan is injured, and the war between Papa Kadam and Madame Mallory comes to a head, with a surprising resolution. Suddenly, enemies reluctantly make peace. This changes the course of several lives, not the least of which is Hassan’s.


There is a reason The Hundred-Foot Journey is one of my favorite movies. It is sweet, thoughtful, real and warm. It addresses issues like prejudice, nationalism, ambition and love in a realistic way without becoming “preachy” about it. This seems to be a hallmark quality of several films I’ve seen by Swedish director Lasse Hallström.

Helen Mirren & Manish Dayal in The Hundred Foot Journey

One of the things I appreciate about Hallström’s films is his ability to show not tell. He addresses divisive topics thoughtfully, allowing the viewer a window into both sides of an argument between flawed but still likable characters. He gives his characters time to think and to grow organically in their beliefs, instead of forcing them to be reactionary. Hallström doesn’t have a long or even commercially succesful list of films to his credit. But what he does have is better, films like Chocolat, Cider House Rules, Hatchi: A Dog’s Tale and Salmon Fishing in the Yemen.  These are all unique stories which should pass the test of time more than blockbuster films by other directors.


Helen Mirren may be the only actress in The Hundred-Foot Journey whom American audiences may recognize. But she fills her role as the rigid, proud French woman Madame Mallory as if she was born French. Her precise and tight body language and facial expressions show a haughty woman whose only love is her beloved restaurant. But Mirren allows the pain and loneliness of Madame Mallory to seep through the tiny cracks in her facade so that the audience can empathize with her. As she allows herself to open up, she finds her world expanding instead of contracting as she fears.  Her personal growth as a character is perhaps the most profound in the film.

RELATED: Lion (2016) Review: An Emotionally Taxing Yet Vibrant Story of Love and Family

Besides the titled journey between two cultures, is the journey taken by the Kadam family. Om Puri portrays Papa Kadam as a strong, stubborn, but loving father figure for the family. He is determined to honor his late wife in his decisions. The relationship between him and his son Hassan is tenderly portrayed as each of them navigate their old world traditions, within their new country. There is a push and pull between them as Hassan urges Papa to adapt to French culture, but it is always respectful.

Then there is the issue to navigate of Hassan’s dream of being a true chef. Papa knows that his dream and his skill far exceeds their humble family restaurant. He struggles with allowing Hassan to grow beyond what the family can give him.

hundred foot journey review

Both the cultural and Hassan’s personal journey to become a respected chef are further exemplified in his relationship with Madame Mallory’s sous chef, Marguerite. Their relationship begins tentatively as friends, with Marguerite more cautious due to her position with Madame Mallory. Though she shows no prejudice towards Hassan, she struggles with professional jealousy. Their romance grows very slowly, but sweetly. Hassan’s feelings are more evident, while Marguerite’s French reserve keep both the audience and Hassan guessing. Manish Dayal and Charlotte LeBon do a marvelous job with their respective characters. LeBon has such delicate features which bely her inner strength. And I couldn’t help but fall a little in love with Dayal’s Hassan, who is thoughtful, caring, forgiving and a bit of dreamer who knows how to work towards his goal.

The Hundred-Foot Journey is a beautiful film of family, love and cultural differences and acceptance, with its’ messages enhanced by the gorgeous cinematography. As it focuses on feeding the bellies of its’ characters, it surreptitiously feeds the soul of the viewer. If you have ever dreamed of an idyllic life in a little French village, then this is the film for you. From sunny days fishing and picking mushrooms, to bike riding around the village, to children playing in the square, it hits the mark on what many American envision about the French lifestyle. Between the beauty of the story and that of the setting, it really brings to mind that poetic line of John Keats, “a thing of beauty is a joy forever.”

hundred foot journey review

Where to Watch: The DVD is available for purchase at a very reasonable price. Or you can rent/buy from the streaming sites, GooglePlay and iTunes.

Content Note: This film has a PG rating and is safe for the whole family.

Photo Credit: DreamWorks Pictures


hundred foot journey review

“The stuff that dreams are made of.”


hundred foot journey review

“In vain have I struggled. It will not do. My

feelings will not be repressed. You must allow me

to tell you how ardently I admire and love you.”


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Brittaney has had her head in the clouds ever since she first fell in love with books and film as a young child. She's a firm believer in the power of story to transport us to new places while also transforming our hearts. She tends to favor historical fiction and classic films since they also allow her to feel like a time traveler. Brittaney is a native resident of Texas and has been honing her own ability to write and tell stories for many years now. You can find more of her wordsmith skills at her website

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2 thoughts on “The Hundred-Foot Journey (2014) Film Review – A Beautiful Exploration of Culture, Family and Food”

I really enjoyed this movie.

Isn’t it good? It just kind of leaves you with a warm glow and appreciation for life.

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