Despite its droll title and Oprahbook-boasts, The Hundred Foot Journey won me in moments with enchanting characters and gorgeous scenery. My writer friend Joey and I inhaled and sighed at the same moment and for the same interval. I believe that defines “breathtaking.” It is charmingly funny with heaping dollops of family friendly foodie dialogue. The pièce de résistance is its story of two diametrically opposed peoples at “war” who eventually show grace and offer a new sense of home. Redemption. Relationship.
“Food is memory.” Do any flavors or scents take you back to specific moments? I went to a funeral as a child and the church was littered with Easter lilies. To this day, I smell stargazers and am immediately back in the viewing room filled with sadness for that loss. My mother’s baked bread is Christmas. What are some of yours?
My father’s early dream of inventing “smell-o-vision” would have helped with the array of redolence and flavor throughout this film. Somehow the pungent spices of India still emanate from the screen. Truffle oil wafts from the curtains. Tomatoes are meant to be eaten like apples. Béchamel and hollandaise sauces await you in the lobby. Do not go to this film hungry.
In this film, food is beauty, is skill, is art, is life. It is given great reverence which pairs nicely with the art of hospitality teaching us to rest in the moment, to put grievances aside, and to appreciate friendship for all of its potential sweetness.