A Review by Andrew Quinn
“Save dinner for after the movie though. You’re going to be hungry”
I don’t know if I’ll go back for seconds but I highly enjoyed this film. What a nice surprise it was too. The relaxed but thoughtful nature of director Lasse Hallström’s (whom you’ll remember from Chocolat and What’s Eating Gilbert Grape) film making is in full swing. The stylish Steven Knight (Eastern Promises and Amazing Grace) is a welcome addition as adapter of the source material. Together Knight and Hallström set up quite the show with enough surprises and laughter to keep even the most cold hearted of people entertained. Having Helen Mirren signed on never hurt anyone’s prospects either.
The cast is wonderful and expertly cast. The Indian family led by Papa played by Om Puri is relatable and well fleshed out. They are the human element that by chance or divine providence meet Madame Mallory’s (Helen Mirren) cold and calculated world. The dynamic between these characters is phenomenally set up. It’s what cements the story and really keeps you watching. Hassan Haji, the aspiring chef played by Manish Dayal, keeps the focus of the film relatable and good natured. The characters gentle spirit and clever nature quickly gain the viewer’s interest and Dayal’s performance was solid.
The real treasure here has to be Mirren. She adds a surprising amount of depth to what could have been a one shtick character. She and the rest of the cast bring a healthy amount of laughs and depth to the picture. I can’t think of one performance that was stale or one character that doesn’t round out and grow through the course of the film. So go see the film for Helen Mirren but stay for the rest because you won’t be disappointed. Save dinner for after the movie though. You’re going to be hungry.
THE HUNDRED-FOOT JOURNEY is rated PG and arrives in theaters everywhere on August 8th.
Andrew Quinn is a film production student based out of Brooklyn NY.
He knows everything about film because he’s “seen over 240 of them.”