Why Not A Movie Like This One?
The Hundred-Foot Journey
Starring: Helen Mirren, Om Puri, Manish Dayal, and Charlotte Le Bon
Written by Steven Knight
Directed by Lassee Hallstrom
Based on the book The Hundred Foot Journey by Richard C. Morais
Audiences love this movie about a young Indian chef and his family forced to leave their home country, who arrive in France and open a restaurant in the countryside a mere 100 feet across the street from a Michelin starred establishment owned by the character Helen Mirren plays. We loved it too, my friend and I. The critics did not.
What follows is my two cents worth directed to potential movie-goers, the movie industry and the print and online movie critics.
Why not a movie about a smart family displaced from their home country and making their way successfully in a new home country?
Why not a story about creating food, even if every detail is not perfect?
Why not a cheerful upbeat tale with a happy ending?
Why not excellent writing: clear storyline, crisp dialogue, brief scenes filled with information to move the story forward?
Why not excellent acting? The newcomers held their own in scenes with pros like Mirren and Puri. Director Hallstrom gets the most from his actors.
Why not a movie with gorgeous scenery and beautifully composed frames? Viewers see the characters at the market, in the countryside, cooking, fishing, loving and arguing, solving problems, and examining their feelings. If the lighting was distracting (as one critic complained), I did not notice.
Why not a movie in which the characters solve problems by taking a hard look at their actions and goals? There was no time for useless handwringing, nor were impulsive actions used to drive plot.
Critics complained (among other things): no heat between characters, forgettable story, contrived and melodramatic. NO!
The movie was a feast for the eyes and the heart, great fun and left my friend and I ready to try Indian food.
Perhaps local readers of this blog will have recommendations for good Indian food. Please send them along.
My final words: Go and see this movie.
All comments are welcome. Did you agree with the critics? Are you a fan of Indian food?