By Sheila O’Brien
I saw one of the best movies I’ve seen in a long time last weekend: “The Hundred-Foot Journey.”
Based on a novel by Richard C. Morais, the movie takes place in a small French village. A family from India, seeking asylum from political unrest in India, settles (by divine providence) in the small village and buys a dilapidated old building and turns it into an Indian restaurant. The building just happens to be right across the road from an upscale French restaurant owned by Madame Mallory, played by Helen Mirren.
Of course competition ensues between the restaurants, but as the movie progresses, the young Indian chef, Hassan, played by Manish Dayal, wins over Madame Mallary with his masterful command of Indian spices.
Besides wonderful French and Indian dishes, the movie includes romances between Madam Mallary and Hassan’s father, played by Om Puri, as well as between Hassan and the French sous chef Marguerite, played by Charlotte Le Bon.
I was especially taken with Helen Mirren’s portrayal of Madam Mallary, as she subtly transforms from a bitter restaurateur to a loving teacher of fine cuisine.
And after you see the movie, you’ll know why I made an omelet the next day for lunch and went out for Indian food the next evening.
The movie opened Aug. 8 and by Aug. 17 had grossed $23,619,000 domestically.