Saturday, September 13, 2014

The Hundred-Foot Journey

In a recent blog post, I mentioned that I went to see a movie my first night in San Francisco.  The Hundred-Foot Journey was that film.  Many critics and some of my friends had enjoyed the movie but found it formulaic and lacking in heart.  I went anyway for two reasons:  Helen Mirren, and the fact that it was a foodie flick.

To my surprise, I quite loved it. 

Helen Mirren, though as magnificent as always, was not the star.  That honor went to Manish Dayal, a South Carolina-born actor who turned in here a star-making performance as young chef Hassan Kadam.  His struggle to balance family, his art (cooking), his ambition, and his love (the wonderful Charlotte Le Bon) was the heart of the film and for whatever reason really worked for me.  Director Lasse Hallstrom dragged the movie a bit too long, as he usually does, and he stitched its heart directly to its sleeve, as he also typically does, but I was enjoying myself so much that I didn't care. 

In the end, I took the film to be Hallstrom's statement that you can indeed achieve that delicate balance, but always at the cost of some success, a cost Hassan Kadam willingly chose to pay. 

There are far worse messages.

Though I'm in the minority among my friends, I highly recommend this movie.


Rosanne said...

I found the trailer for this movie intriguing and was thinking about going to see it. Thanks for posting a review.

Mark said...

I do think it's worth watching. I very much enjoyed it.

Sonya Lawson said...

In this day and age of hip cynicism, I found this movie refreshingly human. I loved it, and have recommended it to my friends.

montsamu said...

Kendra and I enjoyed it also. It was a bit on the formula side, and some side characters disappeared off into nowhere, to re-emerge, and we had a central complaint that went a bit unaddressed. But overall, really nice.

Mark said...

I definitely agree that the film had some serious flaws, and it was formulaic, but it still worked for me.


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