In The Hundred-Foot Journey, Hassan Kadam [Manish Dayal] is a culinary ingénue with the gastronomic equivalent of perfect pitch.
Displaced from their native India, the Kadam family, led by Papa [Om Puri], settles in the quaint village of Saint-Antonin-Noble-Val in the south of France. Filled with charm, it is both picturesque and elegant - the ideal place to settle down and open an Indian restaurant, the Maison Mumbai.
That is, until the chilly chef proprietress of Le Saule Pleureur, a Michelin starred, classical French restaurant run by Madame Mallory [Helen Mirren], gets wind of it.
Her icy protests against the new Indian restaurant a hundred feet from her own escalate to all out war between the two establishments - until Hassan’s passion for French haute cuisine and for Mme Mallory’s enchanting sous chef, Marguerite [Charlotte Le Bon], combine with his mysteriously delicious talent to weave magic between their two cultures and imbue Saint-Antonin with the flavors of life that even Mme. Mallory cannot ignore.
At first Mme Mallory’s culinary rival, she eventually recognises Hassan’s gift as a chef and takes him under her wing.
Find out more about the movie in this special feature.
This was fascinating to watch and to listen to. As I was watching, I couldn’t help but think how grateful I am that my high-school AP English teacher constantly told us that usage dictates definition. That is, if a word is widely used to mean B, then it means B, even if it used to mean A. He loved to say remind us that the best thing about language is that it’s always evolving, that a language that doesn’t evolve according to the way people speak and write it is a dying language.
I am one of those people who walks around mentally correcting everyone else’s grammar and punctuation…but I try to only do it mentally, and never unkindly. I feel the need to correct misspelled words and misplaced commas the same way some people can’t help but clean up clutter, or aren’t able to sleep unless they’ve double-checked all the locks, or can’t walk by a Rubik’s Cube without solving it. I’m not doing it to prove my superiority; it’s just the way my brain works. If I think someone will find it helpful to know about an error, I will tell them politely; otherwise, I try to just keep my mouth shut and move on. Because you know what? Not everyone’s brains work the same way mine does. That guy who can’t keep their/they’re/there straight might be too busy thinking about a cure for AIDS or how to get clean water to people who don’t have easy access to it to worry about something that doesn’t come naturally to him. And that’s okay.