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Lasse Hallstrom
Helen Mirren, Om Puri, Manish Duval, Charlotte Le Bon, Amit Shah
Writing Credits:
Steven Knight

The Kadam family leaves India for France where they open a restaurant directly across the road from Madame Mallory's Michelin-starred eatery.

Box Office:
$22 million.
Opening Weekend
$11,123,000 on 2,023 Screens.
Domestic Gross

Rated PG

Aspect Ratio: 2.39:1
English DTS-HD MA 5.1
English Descriptive Audio 2.0
French Dolby Digital 5.1
Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1
Supplements Subtitles:

Runtime: 122 min.
Price: $36.99
Release Date: 12/9/2014

• “The Hundred-Foot Journey with Steven Spielberg and Oprah Winfrey” Featurette
• “The Recipe, The Ingredients, The Journey” Featurette
• “On Set with Oprah Winfrey” Featurette
• “Coconut Chicken” Featurette


Panasonic TC-P60VT60 60-Inch 1080p 600Hz 3D Smart Plasma HDTV; Sony STR-DG1200 7.1 Channel Receiver; Panasonic DMP-BD60K Blu-Ray Player using HDMI outputs; Michael Green Revolution Cinema 6i Speakers (all five); Kenwood 1050SW 150-watt Subwoofer.


The Hundred-Foot Journey [Blu-Ray] (2014)

Reviewed by Colin Jacobson (December 30, 2014)

Based on the novel by Richard C. Morais, 2014’s The Hundred-Foot Journey introduces us to the Kadam family, Indians who relocate to Europe. They wind up in France where they intend to continue to ply their generations-long trade as restaurateurs.

When Hassan (Manish Dayal) and his Papa (Om Puri) find the French village of Saint-Antonin-Noble-Val, they open an Indian restaurant. They do this in apparent direct competition with an elite haute cuisine establishment run by the snobbish Madame Mallory (Helen Mirren). We follow Hassan and clan as they develop their restaurant and get into personal areas as well, with an emphasis on the haughty Madame Mallory and her sous chef Marguerite (Charlotte Le Bon), a lovely young lady who gets to know Hassan.

Throughout his career, director Lasse Hallström has specialized in lighter than air fables that walk a fine line between charming and cloying. At his best, Hallström creates reasonably winning efforts like 1999’s Cider House Rules, but he can also falter with tedious nonsense like 2001’s Chocolat.

Given their narrative similarities, Journey sets itself up for obvious comparisons with Chocolat. Both take place in France and deal with outsiders who confront the judgments of narrow-minded locals. The two films also deal with food, obviously.

Even without the elements it shares with Chocolat, Journey seems doomed to turn into an exercise in the obvious. Early in the story, it places its characters in one-dimensional holes from which they never emerge.

This means we can easily figure out where various arcs will go. Because some of these “revelations” might fall into spoiler territory, I won’t discuss them, but I doubt any viewers will feel surprised by the narrative/character choices. Everything on display appears so thin and predictable that the movie falters.

I don’t want to overuse the word “trite” but it suits Journey awfully well. The movie’s attempts at drama feel forced and melodramatic, with little real need to exist. Do we need the background element related to the mother’s death? No, and the rivalry between Papa and Mallory comes across as wholly contrived, especially since – like so much else in the movie – we can tell where it’ll go.

In the same vein, the relationship between Hassan and Marguerite lacks any bite, also partly because it feels so phony and inevitable. It doesn’t help that the Hassan character himself remains flat and lifeless throughout the movie. Dayal adds no spark to the role, so he becomes a monotonous personality.

Even the great Mirren can’t bring vivacity to her character. Mallory starts as a cliché and manages to develop some, but not enough to redeem the role or the movie. Mirren mails in her performance, though I can’t blame her; the part doesn’t deserve more than basic effort.

It doesn’t help that Journey threatens to never end. 122 minutes doesn’t seem like a long running time, but it’s too much for the thin tale on display. The story reaches a logical finishing point along the way but we’re left with almost 30 minutes before the credits actually roll. That’s a bad mistake, as the final act seems pointless and extraneous; it’s just unnecessary padding.

Not that I would’ve liked a 90-minute Journey, as most of the movie’s flaws would’ve remained. At least a shorter trek would’ve been less wearying. There’s nothing wrong with an underdog story or a romantic fable, but this one lacks bite and flavor – it just comes across as tedious and forgettable.

The Blu-ray Grades: Picture B/ Audio B/ Bonus D+

The Hundred-Foot Journey appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 2.39:1 on this Blu-ray Disc. While mostly strong, some minor issues materialized.

Overall sharpness worked fine, as virtually no softness materialized. Instead, the majority of the flick provided solid delineation. The image lacked shimmering or jaggies, but I saw some light edge haloes on a couple of occasions. As one would expect from a brand-new movie, print defects failed to mar the picture.

In terms of palette, Journey opted for a mix of orange and teal – especially teal! Those choices seemed a bit odd for a story like this – they make more sense for action movies – but the Blu-ray reproduced them well enough. Blacks came across as dark and deep, while shadows seemed smooth and concise most of the time. However, a couple of shots – primarily a moonlight one with the romantic leads – became rather opaque. Still, the transfer worked well the majority of the time.

No one anticipates a dynamic soundscape from a character piece like Journey, and the DTS-HD MA 5.1 track matched my expectations. Music used the various channels well to become an active partner, and effects added a bit of life to the proceedings. Restaurant scenes broadened sonic horizons to a moderate degree, as they brought us atmospheric information. Nothing I’d call memorable occurred, though.

Audio quality seemed good. Speech remained concise and crisp, with no edginess or related concerns. Music fared best of all, as the score/songs appeared peppy and full. Effects lacked much prominence, but they remained accurate and dynamic enough. This became a “B” mix.

Four featurettes appear here. The Hundred-Foot Journey with Steven Spielberg and Oprah Winfrey goes for 12 minutes, 14 seconds and showcases the film’s two super-famous producers. They discuss how they came onto the project, worked together and helped bring it to the screen as well as related areas. As expected, this becomes a puff piece with lots of praise and little real content.

During the 16-minute, six-second The Recipe, The Ingredients, The Journey, we hear from author Richard C. Morais, producer Juliet Blake, director Lasse Hallstrom, screenwriter Steven Knight, unit production manager Antonin Depardieu, production designer David Gropman, chef consultants Floyd Cardoz and Anil Sharma, director of photography Linus Sandgren, composer AR Rahman and actors Helen Mirren, Michel Blanc, Manish Dayal, Amit Shah, Om Puri, Charlotte Le Bon, Clement Sibony and Farzana Dua Elahe. We get details about the source novel and its move to the big screen, cast and performances, sets and locations, various design and food areas, Hallstrom’s impact on the production and music. Though fairly fluffy, “Recipe” does muster a decent overview of the film.

On Set with Oprah Winfrey lasts three minutes, 53 seconds and shows the producer’s visit to the location. She throws out plenty of happy talk in this superficial featurette.

Finally, we learn how to cook Coconut Chicken. This piece goes for five minutes, nine seconds and provides a tutorial from Anil Sharma. If you desire to make this dish, you may enjoy the program.

Trite and predictable, The Hundred-Foot Journey seeks to give us a warm character piece but flops. It comes with banal personalities and a tedious series of events that go nowhere we can’t easily anticipate. The Blu-ray comes with mostly positive picture and audio and some minor bonus materials. This ends up as a forgettable, lifeless tale.

Viewer Film Ratings: 3 Stars Number of Votes: 2
0 3:
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