Saturday movie review: 'The Hundred-Foot Journey' (with recipes!)

Cheers to good movies returning to theaters!

The Hundred-Foot Journey poster

I had the pleasure of screening THE HUNDRED-FOOT JOURNEY this past week (with my husband), and we both came away delighted. Not to belabor the food analogies — which will undoubtedly be many considering food in all its glory gets top billing here — but the film features the perfect blend of ingredients to make for a most pleasing treat.

THE HUNDRED-FOOT JOURNEY, based on the best-selling book by Richard Morais and directed by Lasse Hallström (Chocolat), stars Helen Mirren as Madame Mallory, owner of an award-winning classical restaurant in the south of France. Madame Mallory finds herself at odds with the Kadam family, led by Papa (Om Puri), when he and his family are displaced from their native India and serendipitously settle across the street from Madame's establishment.

Much to Madame Mallory's chagrin, the Kadams open an Indian restaurant featuring delectable dishes created by Hassan Kadam (Manish Dayal), based on spices passed down to him by his deceased mother. Things heat up further when Hassan and Madame Mallory's sous chef, Marguerite (Charlotte Le Bon), fall in love... and competition.

It's a fairly familiar and somewhat predictable story, but THE HUNDRED-FOOT JOURNEY was lovely to watch. It touched my heart — and made my stomach growl, too. 

The producers of the film — that being magic-makers Steven Spielberg and Oprah Winfrey — provide additional background on the delightful film, which they clearly and understandably adore, in this featurette.


I loved the richness of THE HUNDRED-FOOT JOURNEY. Not only the richness of the colorful, vibrant cinematography and the energetic Indian music throughout, but in the variety of themes, too. The story explores in equal measure cultural differences and stereotypes; moving beyond the grief of losing a loved one — spouse or mother; letting go of an adult child; following your dream; and, corny though it may sound, following your heart. And despite an interesting turn by Helen Mirren, my husband and I both agreed wholeheartedly that Om Puri as Papa was the most rich, most interesting, most beloved character of the ensemble cast.

And the food? Oh, my... there's food. Lots of food. Some dishes, beautifully presented as they were, didn't appeal all that much to me (or my husband). Others, though, seemed quite magical and tempting. Lucky for me — and you — recipes were included with the media materials for THE HUNDRED-FOOT JOURNEY, and I'm happy to share with you a couple.

 Chicken Tikka recipe

omelette aux fines herbes recipe

THE HUNDRED-FOOT JOURNEY (rated PG for "thematic elements, some violence, language and brief sensuality") opened in theaters Aug. 8. Learn more — and find more recipes — on the film's Facebook page.

Bon appétit!

Disclosure: I was invited to a free screening of this film. Photos, clips and recipes were provided for review; all opinions are my own.