After a decent pre-October run of horror films the cinema listings came to a grinding halt. This is the only reason why a film like The Hundred-Foot Journey not only appeared on my radar but actually looked quite appealing. I am the first to give credit to the Trailer Guy for elevating the promise of any particular film but this week’s gold star goes to the Release Date Guy. Well played Release Date Guy. Well played.
PLOT: After their home in India is attacked a family with no surname move to the Stepford French countryside and set up their family run eatery opposite Madam Malloy’s (Helen Mirren) Michelin Star restaurant. Bicycles. Onions. Fireworks. Indian spices revolutionise French cuisine. END PLOT
I have never hated a film as much as I hate The Hundred-Foot Journey. It has managed to knock Scott Pilgrim off the list of films I will show to my enemies as a form of torture. Those of you who are
blessed cursed enough to know me will understand the
severity of that sentence.
With a likeable cast led by Helen Mirren and Om Puri, the quirky setting and gentle comedy The Hundred-Foot Journey had all the ingredients required to make a sweet little film. Unfortunately the runtime clocked in at just over two hours and although there were some poignant moments the length made it abundantly clear that The Hundred-Foot Journey had no substance.
The weak plot was so desperate to be inoffensive it ended up being the most watered down and offensive film I have seen in a long time. It was shocking that a good idea could be so badly handled. Gurinder Chadha should have been the director to take it on as she has the ability to bring genuine heart, colour and fun to a story. Everything about The Hundred-Foot Journey was the opposite to what it should have been.
Helen Mirren, Om Puri and Manish Dayal did the best they could with the bland script. There were some nice little moments when their characters bonded but I became so bored with conversations about omelettes I didn’t care about the characters/eggs/life by the time the film finally came to an end.
Initially the French countryside looked gorgeous but after realising that the film was set in 2014 it became a weird parody of over an idealised paradise where everyone cycles to the local market to buy pigeon. There is no resemblance of modern day society until we get to Paris which is styled like a gluttonous whore in need of a good wash. Luckily we head back to the safety of the countryside after a good 30mins of banging music and montages about the “science” of cookery.
I could have easily reviewed The Hundred-Foot Journey in three words - "It was shit". I hated it. It is a sad day when a film starring the amazing Helen Mirren is the biggest piece of crap I am likely to sit through in 2014. The Hundred-Foot Journey was a never ending cycle of aggressive onion chopping, mushroom foraging, firework displaying, montages. It gets 1/10. Avoid.
How it should have ended.