After the Kadam family flee Mumbai, they trek across Europe searching for a place to settle. One day, their van breaks down just outside a small French village and their patriarch Papa (Puri) declares it fate and this is where they will establish an Indian restaurant, just like the one they used to run so successfully in Mumbai.
Alas, they set up directly across the street….. 100 feet to be exact …… from the snobbish Madame Mallory (Mirren). Madame Mallory operates a renowned one Michelin star French restaurant and does not take kindly to the rowdy and fun Indian restaurant ruining her own establishment’s classic and refined ambience.
So she declares (very proper) war on the Kadam family….
While Papa and Madame thrash it out, their young proteges, Papa’s son Hasan (Dayal) and Madame’s young sous chef Marguerite (Le Bon) meet and strike up a friendship that slowly turns into a sweet love affair. Marguerite helps Hassan learn the basics of French cuisine and Hassan provides Marguerite with a break from her long hours of work and study. Both wish to progress through the ranks as chefs.
This movie, based on the Richard C Morais novel of the same name, is a delicious, ambling feast for the heart and soul. Comparisons to The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel (you can read my review here) are inevitable and pretty accurate. The meeting of Indian and Western cultures, the divides that separate them and the similarities that unite them are similar themes in each movie.
Dame Helen is, of course, divine and her poised and aloof character had oodles of chemistry with the gruff Puri. It is delightful to watch. The pair are the perfect foil for one another and their scenes together just made me smile. The pairing of the younger couple was much less riveting but lovely just the same. Two young attractive people are sometimes just that….not that there is anything wrong with that mind you. But the older pair stole the show.
I loved this movie. Not too much drama, not too much comedy, not too many tears, just right. It wont be everyone’s cup of tea but as we in the eastern states on Australia are in for a very wet and windy weekend, if you are looking for somewhere warm to go for a few hours away from home, go and see this movie. Dad can take the kids to see Guardians of the Galaxy (my review here) and you can sink back and relax for a few hours of gorgeous French countryside and delicious food.
Love Flick xx
Director : Lasse Hallström
Starring : Helen Mirren, Om Puri, Manish Dayal, Charlotte Le Bon, Amit Shah, Farzana Dua Elahe, Dillon Mitra, Aria Pandya, Michel Blanc
Running Time : 122 minutes
Release Date : 14 August 2014