So, how many of you have watched ‘The Hundred-Foot Journey’? Well, I recently got the opportunity to watch a preview of the movie at Nehru Planetarium last week through an invite by Atout France and enjoyed it immensely. Now, I am no film reviewer or critic, but I am going to tell you a bit about the movie.
The Hundred-Foot Journey is a must-watch film, especially for people who love food. It is about a boy Hassan Kadam (the very handsome Manish Dayal) who is not only a talented cook but has a special gift when it comes to food and ingredients. After his mother dies in a fire in Mumbai, he and his family travel to Europe and finally find themselves in Midi-Pyrenees in the Southern part of France. Where they come across a dilapidated restaurant bang opposite (or hundred foot away from) a French Michelin-Star Restaurant owned by Madame Mallory (Helen Mirren).
What ensues is a battle of the cuisines and cultures – the spicy, masaledaar Indian food against the subtle flavours of French cuisine. The soft, yet effective cunningness of Madame Mallory against the rather aggressive portrayal of irritation by Papa Kadam (Om Puri). And amongst this all, some beautiful food photography. I have never seen eggs look the way they have been portrayed here, or that caramelised golden beetroot.
I particularly enjoyed the cinematography that allowed the food and the produce depicted in the film to shine! What I also loved was how the story brings Indian spices into the spotlight and talks about how food makes memories. The food shown in the movie has been prepared by an Indian born chef Floyd Cardoz (read more about his role in the film here).
The Hundred-Foot Journey is almost like Bollywood meets Hollywood. A bit of masala, a whirlwind romance and a dream accomplished for young Hassan all come together beautifully. Apart from the food, I loved the portrayal of the relationship between Hassan Kadam and Papa Kadam. All the actors, especially the four main characters of Hassan, Papa, Madame Mallory and Margarite (Charlotte Le Bon) have acted beautifully and very convincingly. What disappointed me, though, was the ending. (And, for me, endings are important). It is predictable, very Bollywood and a little clichéd, if I may say so. But, the movie was a delight overall, to all the senses. Its just released in India, so do go and watch it.
Anyway, while watching the movie, I met a couple of people I’d met last at the Cook and Dine with Ritu Dalmia event last year, and all I could think of was the Carrot Cake I’d made (a recipe by Chef Ritu Dalmia) and eaten there. It is one of my favourite cakes, ever.
And, naturally, it was baked the next day. Here’s the result!