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Blu-ray Review The Hundred-Foot Journey Blu-ray Review (1 Viewer)

Matt Hough

Senior HTF Member
Apr 24, 2006
Charlotte, NC
Real Name
Matt Hough
The Hundred-Foot Journey Blu-ray Review

A sweet, comforting film of clashing cultures coming together in most predictable ways, Lasse Hallstrom’s The Hundred-Foot Journey won’t win any prizes for originality, but it makes up for it with earnest performances, solid direction, and scrumptious-looking food. As with other culinary-themed movies like Babette’s Feast or Big Night, the food is one of the primary stars of the movie, and the director’s prior experience with Chocolat gives him the confidence to present the delectable edibles with zest and imagination.

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Studio: Other

Distributed By: Disney

Video Resolution and Encode: 1080P/AVC

Aspect Ratio: 2.39.1

Audio: English 5.1 DTS-HDMA, Spanish 5.1 DD, French 5.1 DD

Subtitles: English SDH, Spanish, French

Rating: PG

Run Time: 2 Hr. 2 Min.

Package Includes: Blu-ray, Digital Copy

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Disc Type: BD50 (dual layer)

Region: ABC

Release Date: 12/02/2014

MSRP: $36.99

The Production Rating: 4/5

Driven from their home in Mumbai due to political unrest, an Indian family of exotic cooks tries several different European locales for relocation before settling in Saint-Antonin-Noble-Val, a southern French village which already boasts a heralded one-star restaurant. When the family settles right across the street to open their Indian-style establishment, Madame Mallory (Helen Mirren) who owns the Le Saule Pleureu objects to the (to her) offending smells and loud music of their culture, and a war of sorts breaks out between her and the family’s patriarch (Om Puri). But Hassan (Manish Dayal) who has a sensitively developed palette and a way with spices and seasonings comes to the attention of Madame Mallory who inevitably agrees to take him on in the kitchen for him to gain experience in international cooking hoping that with his unique gifts in the kitchen, she can gain a second star for her restaurant, a star that has been eluding her for thirty years.Based on the novel by Richard C. Morais, the screenplay by Steven Knight follows pretty much a paint-by-the-numbers narrative involving a couple of eventual romantic couplings as well as detailing Hassan’s journey toward chef superstardom and the resulting pressures from such notoriety. So, the familiar beats in Knight’s script and in Lasse Hallstrom’s exacting albeit delicate direction may provide either comfort or tedium depending on one’s mood since there really aren’t many surprises offered with the story or its character interactions, and the movie does extend past the two-hour mark. But the concoctions prepared in the various kitchens from mere omelets to truly exotic creations give the film a reason for existence, and the power of great good to tantalize the senses and bring people together to share in a unique creation is heartening despite its predictability. Hallstrom also deftly handles the passage of seasons as time allows the conflicting sides of the quarrels a chance to temper their tempers with reason and understanding. A couple of Bastille Day celebrations offer ingratiating local color and a terrific chance for the screen to blaze with color and life making those moments, along with other various celebrations which occur during the film and which offer reasons for special cuisine, the true highlights of the movie.Helen Mirren is top-billed and the central attraction as the demanding proprietress of the restaurant she's determined will be the best in France. Watching her give in little by little to her exposure to another approach to the culinary arts is most entertaining as is her growing camaraderie with Om Puri’s Papa and Manish Dayal’s Hassan. Both of the men give strong performances as stubborn supports for their kind of cooking (though, of course, Hassan is open to learning new things as the actor softens his determination as the story unfolds). Charlotte Le Bon sparkles as Madame Mallory’s sous chef Marguerite whose ambition is as great as Hassan’s but whose talent is not. Michel Blanc has some amusing moments as the village mayor who must deal with the contradictory natures of Madame Mallory and Papa Kadam, and Clément Sibony makes a solid impression as the prejudiced head chef Jean-Pierre who resents the interloping Indians across the street and is determined to do something about them.

Video Rating: 5/5 3D Rating: NA

Presented in its original theatrical aspect ratio of 2.39:1, the transfer boasts 1080p resolution using the AVC codec. Sharpness is exacting and spot-on throughout the presentation, all the better to focus on the scrumptious array of delectable edibles placed before us. Color is deeply rich and vibrant, among the most striking of any of 2014’s films and once again making the food seem bursting with aromas and flavors. Skin tones throughout are believable and appealing while contrast has been consistently maintained to perfection. Once the story moves to Paris in the later reels, the blacks of the city are richly deep with outstanding shadow detail present. The movie has been divided into 18 chapters.

Audio Rating: 4.5/5

The DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 sound mix offers a wide spread to Oscar-winner A.R. Rahman’s background score. Dialogue has been expertly recorded and has been placed in the center channel. Sound effects have also been placed discreetly through the available channels giving the aural experience a three-dimensional feel especially in the early scenes set in India and in a later fire scene in France.

Special Features Rating: 3/5

The Hundred-Foot Journey with Steven Spielberg and Oprah Winfrey (12:14, HD): the two old friends who hadn’t worked together since The Color Purple reunite on this project as co-producers and spend this interview discussing the wonderful casting of the movie and the exquisite food which, as in life, brought everyone together.The Recipe, The Ingredients, The Journey (16:06, HD): a behind-the-scenes look at the making of the film with brief comments from producer Juliet Blake, original author Richard C. Morais, director Lasse Hallstrom, screenwriter Steven Knight, actors Helen Mirren, Michel Blanc, Manish Dayal, Amit Shah, Om Puri, Charlotte Le Bon, Farzana Dua Elahe, production designer David Gropman, cinematographer Linus Sandgren, and composer A.R. Rahman.On Set with Oprah Winfrey (3:53, HD): Oprah visits the set and greets the cast and crew.Coconut Chicken (5:09, HD): Indian chef consultant Anil Sharma offers the directions and prepares a delectable looking dish of coconut chicken.Digital Copy: code sheet enclosed.

Overall Rating: 4/5

A lovely if slightly overlong film with savory dishes bringing together diverse cultures into a more harmonious blend, The Hundred-Foot Journey may be more fairy tale than realistic comedy-drama detailing the way to calm disputes among the prejudiced masses, but the film’s familiarity in story and tone makes for a most pleasant diversion. Recommended!

Reviewed By: Matt Hough

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