The family of talented cook, Hassan Kadam, has a life filled with both culinary delights and profound loss. Drifting through Europe after fleeing political violence in India that killed the family restaurant business and their mother, the Kadams arrive in France. Once there, a chance auto accident and the kindness of a young woman, Marguerite, in the village of Saint-Antonin-Noble-Val inspires Papa Kadam to set up a Indian restaurant there. Unfortunately, this puts the Kadams in direct competition with the snobbish Madame Mallory's acclaimed haute cuisine establishment across the street where Marguerite also works as a sous-chef. The resulting rivalry eventually escalates in personal intensity until it goes too far. In response, there is a bridging of sides initiated by Hassan, Marguerite and Madame Mallory herself, both professional and personal, that encourages an understanding that will change both sides forever. Written by
Kenneth Chisholm (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Although the novel is set in the 1990s, the story is modernized for the film. See more »
When the family car loses its brakes and goes off the paved road, it travels a fair distance up an unpaved road before stopping. When the family walks down to the paved road, the car is seen to be much closer than it had traveled. See more »
After the first 20-30 minutes I was sure I was not going to enjoy this movie. By the end of its 2 hours, I was feeling anger and disgust. I couldn't wait for it to end.
Everything, everything is predictable, everything follows the usual Hollywood feel-good formula. By meets girl, man meets woman, a mangy old building becomes transformed into an attractive restaurant, the downtrodden and disadvantaged become triumphant, snobbery and prejudice morph into warmth and fellowship, bad guys get their comeuppance, etc. etc. Ugh. The storyline was absolutely the worst part of the movie. I don't know whether the novel was as bad as the movie, but definitely the scriptwriter has a lot to answer for.
The music was just the usual background stuff with a little Indian colour thrown in, but it sometimes underlined hollowness of the story. It swelled thrillingly, ecstatically, victoriously when the action warranted much, much less, it became cloyingly tender when the action was making a feeble attempt to milk our tears.
The shots of the French vista, the little town in a valley, were shot in some kind of low definition that failed miserably to communicate the required picturesqueness. The computer graphics of fireworks were overdone and obviously faked, as were a flock of birds flying in the distance over a valley.
This is one bad movie. All the feel-good stuff is just not enough to cover up the general awfulness. Why Steven Spielberg and Oprah Winfrey put their names to this is beyond me. Two stars out of ten.
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