Saturday, September 26, 2015

Best Foodie movie since Big Night and Like Water for Chocolate...

The Hundred-Foot Journey
Directed by: Lasse Hallström
Staring: Helen Mirren, Om Puri, Manish Dayal
Rated: PG

Not since "Like Water for Chocolate" or "Big Night", has a foodie cooking movie moved me in this way.  Food movies, in my opinion, are so hard to pull off - because food is subjective and really talented cooking and the finess that goes into it - is hard to make realistic and real on the big screen. Much like art, what is amazing to one person isnt amazing to another. What is talent to one, isnt talent to another in regards to cooking as well.  This move shows both sides of the cooking world so brilliantly, and then brings you to a glorious happy medium in the end, literally leaving you weeping in your food.

 The Kadam family travels from India to France - after the loss of the Matriarch of the family - who was the parent that laid the foundation for her children to cook with their hearts. She taught them to cherish and celebrate ingredients for what they are and to dig deep into your roots to give food a peice of yourself.  The father (played by Om Puri who tugs at your heart strings the entire movie) and his children leave their home in search of a place to carry on her memory through food, and a place to share their love of food with others.  They find a location that is literally 100 feet from one of the towns classiest French restaurants, that has a Michelin star to back it up - owned by the stern and recently widowed Madam Mallory (played by the amazing Helen Mirren).

Hasan Kadam (Brilliantly played by Manish Dayal) is the middle son who has been blessed with the cooking talents and pallet of his mother.  He mets one of the sous chef's from Madam Mallory's restaurant at the local market, and though there is obvious attraction it is clear, they are from two diffferent sides of a turf war.

The restaurants begin battling over food, music, taste, customers and even decorations.  The movie is fairly predictable at this point, until it takes a dramatic turn and exposes emotions and heart on both sides.

I watched this movie on a plane, not knowing it was a Speilberg/Oprah film and adored it. Cried like a baby. Being a home cook and someone who loves cooking for people as a way to show them how much I care about them, this movie touched my heart.
The ending had me reeling - I wont ruin it - but I can tell you that it takes a turn I didnt see coming. I found it an interesting turn none the less, as it visited the topic of school trained chefs vs self taught. 

Does your culture and family taught cooking ability give you an edge in the foodie world? Or is Culinary School the only way to propel your career and mold you into a true chef? I like to think its a bit of both.

The movie is wrapped up with a big emotional comfort food bow at the end, which can be cheesy but then I realized, thats what food does. It makes you feel silly, happy and cheesy - and this is what that movie did.  A great movie about culture, family, determination and how the food effects the human spirit.

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