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2014 Movie Review - The Hundred-Foot Journey

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Category: Movies
Published Date Written by Jason Loo

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The Hundred-Foot Journey chronicles the Kadam family journey from India to England and finally settling in France. 
 
The film begins in India with the Kadam family owning a restaurant in India and Hassan Kadam (Manish Dayal) is the genius cook of the Kadam family. He is being groomed by his mother to be the chief cook. 
 
However, tragedy strikes when the restaurant is attacked by a mob and Hassan's mother is killed in the ensuing flames that destroys the Kadam family restaurant.

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Subsequently, the entire family seeks asylum in London but finds their residence unsuitable for restaurant. That's when they packed up and depart for Europe. While crossing the border near France, the brakes on their vehicles fails and they are forced to seek refuge at the village nearby.

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They are helped by kindly French woman, Marguerite (Charlotte Le Bon) who happens to be the sous chef in Le Saule Pleureur ("The Weeping Willow"), a one star Michelin restaurant owned and operated by Madame Mallory (Helen Mirren).

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Papa Kadam (Om Puri) notices an abandoned building right opposite the Le Saule Pleureur and insists on purchasing the building and having the Kadam family restaurant there. The new restaurant is called "Maison Mumbai" and hence the movie's namesake, which depicts the closeness of the two restaurants.
 
This of course creates tension between the proprietors of the two restaurants and also affects the blossoming relationship between Hassan and Marguerite.

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The rest of the movie deals with how each side overcomes the cultural differences and work together. It also chronicles the rise of Hassan as a top notch cook who nabbed another Michelin star for the Le Saule Pleureur and moving on to Paris and cook up more wonders.

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There are many moments in this movie which is beautiful and evokes a certain charm in the food senses. Coupled with a strong cast and the rustic, scenic countryside near Saint-Antonin-Noble-Val, it makes this movie an absolutely gastronomical affair.
 
Watchability : 8 / 10

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Cast :
Helen Mirren     ...     Madame Mallory
Om Puri          ...     Papa
Manish Dayal     ...     Hassan
Charlotte Le Bon     ...     Marguerite
Amit Shah     ...     Mansur
Farzana Dua Elahe     ...     Mahira
Dillon Mitra     ...     Mukthar
Aria Pandya     ...     Aisha
Michel Blanc     ...     Mayor
Clément Sibony     ...     Jean-Pierre
Vincent Elbaz     ...     Paul
Juhi Chawla     ...     Mama
Alban Aumard     ...     Marcel
Shuna Lemoine     ...     Mayor's Wife
Antoine Blanquefort     ...     Thomas
 
 
References :

2014 Movie Review - Automata

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Category: Movies
Published Date Written by Jason Loo

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At first glance of the title Automata, the story is reminiscent of Isaac Asimov's stories, those of robots and the rules that govern their behavior.
 
Similarly in this movie starring Antonio Banderas, Dylan McDermott and Melanie Griffth, the world in 2044 is decimated by solar flare, turning most the planet into a radioactive wasteland and subsequently dominated by robots called Pilgrims.

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The Pilgrims are manufactured by a corporate entity named ROC and Antonio Banderas plays Jacq Vaucan, an insurance claim inspector for ROC. The Pilgrims have two unalterable rules : Protection of human life and cannot modify itself.

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Dylan McDermott stars as Wallace, a cop who discovers one of the robots trying to repair itself. Wallace destroys the robot and is brought to the attention of Jacq to investigate.
 
In the course of the investigation, Jacq finds out that some robots managed to override the second protocol and they want to move to a place where humans cannot harm them.

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ROC learns about this and goes after the robots, putting Jacq and his family in danger. The story after that doesn't gel too well and Jacq ends up being chased by ROC agents in the desert and abandoned. The robots saved him and brings Jacq to a station that can allow the robots to escape to a radioactive area where humans cannot reach them.
 
Although the premise of the movie was promising, it eventually turned into a sometimes incomprehensible plotline and let down by confusing characters.

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Watchability : 3 / 10 - Loved the robots but not the human characters.
 
Cast :
Antonio Banderas          ...     Jacq Vaucan
Birgitte Hjort Sørensen     ...     Rachel Vaucan
Melanie Griffith     ...     Dra. Dupre / Cleo (voice)
Dylan McDermott     ...     Wallace
Robert Forster     ...     Robert Bold
Tim McInnerny     ...     Vernon Conway
Andy Nyman     ...     Ellis
David Ryall     ...     Dominic Hawk
Andrew Tiernan     ...     Manager
Christa Campbell     ...     ROC Technician
Christina Tam     ...     Morgue Technician
Danny Kirrane     ...     Muniesa Technician
Philip Rosch     ...     Client
Javier Bardem     ...     Blue Robot (voice)
Harry Anichkin     ...     Clift
 
References :

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