The Kadam family leaves India for France where they open a restaurant directly across the road from Madame Mallory's Michelin-starred eatery.This was the movie my family watched in the evening on Christmas Day. I had seen the trailer for it before and I just had a gut instinct, this one was going to be an unforgettable watch.
I was right ladies and gentlemen, this has to be one of the most beautiful, rich, amazing movies I have ever seen! I cannot recommend it enough!
The plot- while everything seems to point to the idea that this movie is about food, it really isn't, although the food is a nice bonus. This movie is really about relationship, and it is beautiful.
The writing- This has some of the best writing I have ever seen in a movie. The writers were able to weave truth, normal conversational, deeply felt emotions, and humor all together in an unbreakable flow that was magnificent.
The music- What can I say? I am listening to the soundtrack as we speak. It's pretty wow.
The setting- First in India, then in a small and stunning village in the countryside of France. I have to be honest, I am not really a fan of either the Indian or the French cultures, I often feel like the former is oppressive and rigid, and the latter is snobbish. While this movie does an excellent job of showing how strongly these characters are rooted in their culture, it also shows them living their lives in a manner that is relatable to all humanity, no matter what the culture.
The romance- This movie did such a lovely job with the romance, both the older, and the younger. It was gentle, sweet, and not at all forced or made to look "sexy" or "passionate". It was real people opening up their hearts, some learning to love for the first time, and some learning to love again. They took their time, and ended up making a much more real, beautiful romance than most movies I have ever seen.
The characters- They were beautifully written, and beautifully portrayed.
Madam Mallory (Helen Mirren)- The proud and very French owner of a famous eating establishment in a French village. Her whole world is tied up in this restaurant and its success. Honestly, she is a difficult character to like at first, but over time you find yourself completely in love with her as she lets down her walls, opens her heart, and begins to live once more. And despite the ups and downs, Madam Mallory is a lovely woman who carries a graceful and elegant presence with her wherever she goes.
Papa (Om Puri)- This man, oh this man! He speaks his mind, does what he likes, and doesn't put up with nonsense, all while being absolutely hilarious, a little bit mischievous, and above all, a Papa with a big heart.
Hassan (Manish Dayal)- The second oldest son of the Kadam family, you were rooting for him from the very start. He carries this sweet feeling of innocence and value for beautiful things like food and memories. He knows how to savor. He does have some struggles, but comes out a much fuller person in the end, having slain his dragons and come to realize what is important to him. I loved watching him cook, it was like watching a musician play beautiful music.
Marguerite (Charlotte Le Bon)- A lovely young lady who works for Madam Mallory in her restaurant. She was the sweetest little thing, lovely, feminine, honest, and just a pleasure to watch. She was so very French, but not in the "sexy and alluring" way that they often play French girls up to be, she was a breath of fresh air.
This movie grabbed my soul from the moment it started and held my attention all the way until the end credits. I can tell when I deeply enjoy a movie, because my face moves more often, I often find myself smiling through large sections of it.
This movie leaves you feeling full, and no, not in your stomach, you are actually insanely hungry when it is all over, but in your heart. Like you have traveled to a distant land where the light is golden and the truth is obvious, and came away just a little bit wiser. I can't recommend this movie enough and I know my family will be purchasing it.