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Friday, April 3, 2015

The Hundred-Foot Journey

     
     I'll confess I'm a movie snob and not a fan of the movie-going experience- standing in line, paying $13 and hoping no one tall sits in front of me. In fact, I make a list of the few films that interest me and wait until they're available on Netflix so I can watch them in my PJs while eating Twizzlers and Whoppers.
     This film intrigued me because the hero is the food. Every other character exists to make the hero look good. I'm taking a little detour from writing about my gastronomic adventures to delve into this cinematic character development. It's a departure from the theme of this blog, but I believe I'm justified based on the fact that the film is an ode to food, to cooking it, to eating it and to adoring it.
    Based on the book of the same title written by Richard C. Morais, the film is the story of an Indian family who lose their restaurant in a fire and move to France to start over. The son, played by Manish Dayal, is a culinary genius, although he calls himself  'a cook'. The family opens the new establishment in a small French town right across (exactly 100 feet) from an exclusive Michelin-starred restaurant run by a stiff teacher played artfully by Helen Mirren. Naturally, competition gives way to cooperation and a happy ending for all.
     My intention is not to write a critique of the film, the acting or the adaptation from the book. What I want to write about is the love story embedded in the movie. The central relationship is a passionate love affair with food. The cooking scenes are visually provocative. The sensual colors, the deliberately dramatic shots of enticing ingredients and rare spices, the Indian music, all intermix to create a seductive mood. People fall in love with each other too in this film, but those relationships are completely secondary to the hot-and-heavy romance everyone has with the food.
     The enchanting sensory experiences are stimulated by the striking presentation of dishes like chicken Korma from Northern India, the classic Boef Bourguignon, Indian lamb stew, Tandoori chicken wings, Omelette aux Fine Herbs, and glazed fish fillet with curry sauce. The preparation of the food also entices with slow-motion egg-cracking and whisking, loving hands kneading and folding accompanied by a score of gentle violins.
    The film starts a little slow and predictable, but then it develops into a surprisingly well-told story with food as the catalyst for love and self-discovery. A finger-licking-good piece of cinema.

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6 comments:

  1. My foodie friends and I spent hours discussing this movie and the food that was presented during the film. We thought we were the only ones.

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    1. Candy, you are my kind of people! Thanks for stopping by.

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  2. I was really moved by this movie (and have watched it multiple times). The power of real food made with love is, well, everything to me. It is very important in connecting with our bodies and senses, our passions, our loved ones, our health, and our environment. All of the emotions, connections, tastes, colors and flavors in this movie brought me to tears of joy.
    Much (food) love!
    -Raj www.ThePrimalDesire.com

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    1. Us foodies have to stick together, Raj. Thanks for visiting.

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  3. I don't blame you for not liking to go to the movies. I'm the same way. It is super pricy and I also often get bored just sitting around, so the movie has to be quite intriguing for me to enjoy! This movie is one my mom and I have wanted to see for a while and I'm glad you reviewed it because now I know it seems to be worth watching.

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    1. If you're a food worshipper, you will enjoy it. Glad you came by.

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