While I praise this movie for what it does. It does have a few troupes and cliches it tends to fall into now and again and as a member of the audience I have to say it can be a little annoying at times.
But again I still enjoyed it for it's message and it's a simple message at that, and again it's that classic, balance yourself between tradition and something new.
So this movie starts of by introducing us to the Kadams, and with Hassan Kadam the son, recalling his tale about why they moved to London in the first place, and about his culinary experience and influence at an early age, and says that the reason they wanted to move to France was to introduce their food to the outside world but London wasn't the right place to do it, so they wanted to try out France.
There in France they met with a small accident because of the brakes and the father believes it to be a sign that they should stop at this quaint village. The father comes across an abandoned building and instantly wants to buy it for his vision for a restaurant, that he will later call Maison Mumbai, obviously entailing that they would try a little fusion later on, but their focus was to introduce the Indian cuisine at the start first.
But then, we have the snooty character; Madame Mallory, who doesn't approve of what their doing and constantly tries to take them down. But obviously that doesn't stop Papa from doing the same, and they go back and forth. And then you have Hassan falling in love with Marguerite which I didn't mind I mean they had chemistry there I'm not going to lie but it was obvious even before they really started to talk to each other and flirt or whatever.
But obviously you can't have the focus on that, you need to have focus on the cuisine and Hassan, and I thought that was good though, I mean yeah it's the classic rags to riches thing in the modern day, but remember this movie was based on a book that was set in the 90's and only was modernized for the sake of the movie, creative liberties I get it.
But what I don't get is why they didn't emphasize the wedge between the Western "world" and the Eastern "world" with their cuisines, yeah I know I spoke about troupes and cliches and that would be some of them in there, but that would have made it so much better but instead we have it for awhile and then we see Hassan's struggle to see that there is a better way to balance between the old and the new way.
And that's also better but I think it could have been focused on more.
I mean these people arrived in France and assimilated so quickly and the French assimilated to their food so quickly. I think not. There should have been time dedicated to that because that's what the movie's focus should be. And yeah there are one or two scenes here and there, and I disagree with the review at Roger Ebert's site with the person saying that the third act was a pointless detour. We needed that!
We needed to see him struggle, debate himself about what's good for him. What makes him proud to cook, what drives him to cook, and why is he still cooking, is it just for the fame? In fact the scene where he sits down and looks outside is so powerful and it could have been paired with the father looking at the stars as well, wondering whether or not Hassan was ever going to come back,and whether or not Hassan remembers his roots.
Because even with a simple message, that it's good to challenge, and evoke innovation and bring new tastes, it's also important that we focus on how they adapt.
And I mean they have a few good scenes with that too, the kids tasting Hassan's food and saying that it was French food, that should have dug at him more, have a scene where he sits alone in the kitchen staring at the wall then, decide that what's best is for him to continue and infuse more of his Indian side with the class of French cuisine.
And we had it with the gastropub that was doing innovative stuff with the food and him just going with it and doing more, and infusing more, and he had the scene where he walked away after he took a photo with his fans, that should have been focused on more, and oh, there's so many missed opportunities and I know this sounds like a bad movie but, man, there were just so many good opportunities that I saw in this.
And overall I mean, it kept my focus, it wasn't too long although at times I felt some scenes were stretched out, but for what it is I give it this, the environment, the ambiance, the scenery, it was all great I mean the cinematography is on point, I mean kudos to the camera guy man. And the message while good intended and could have been better directed has flaws, but I enjoyed seeing how they would adapt in this situation, and how tempting it would be to lose sight of your roots, and how losing sight could affect you too in any field of work.
And it's important to note that this movie really just focuses on the people and thee way they interact and how much of a polar opposite to each other but learn to live together harmoniously, and I'm glad I got to watch it, and if you like those things, then certainly give it a watch