A few days ago I saw The Hundred-Foot Journey. Adapted from the novel by Richard C. Morais, it traces the story of an Indian family, the Kadams, who run a successful restaurant business in their native Mumbai. But they are forced to flee India when rioting breaks out and their restaurant is destroyed.
They go to London first and try to set up a new business, but it’s hard trying to make it in a city full of nameless faces who are also aiming to make money and succeed. They set off on the road again to travel across Europe in an old and decidedly rickety hired van. Unfortunately, the van’s brakes fail when they are driving down a steep dirt road in France and they are forced to stop over in a small town.
Saint Antonin in the Midi-Pyrénées region of France was used as one of the filming locations. It is a beautiful place; I visited once when my family spent Christmas there. The market you see in the movie is exactly the same in real life: full to bursting with fresh veg and delicacies such as local olives (my favourite!).
The Kadams decide to settle in the town and get to work opening a restaurant. Little do they know that the locals will not be impressed. Just across the street from Maison Mumbai is Madame Mallory (wonderfully portrayed by Helen Mirren) who runs Le Saule Pleureur, a Michelin-starred restaurant which abides by the cultural traditions of the finest French cuisine. And so the rivalry begins…
With comedic tension between the Kadam family and Madame Mallory, The Hundred-Foot Journey (named after the distance between Le Saule Pleureur and Maison Mumbai) is a feel-good film full of vibrant colours and mouthwatering images of the cultural contrast between French haute cuisine and traditional Indian food.
Have you seen any good movies recently? Leave a comment and let me know!