East and West

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Mumbai born Nobel Laureate Rudyard Kipling’s celebrated poem ‘Ballad of the East and West’ penned in 1889 has been repeatedly published and anthologised over many years. In his opening verse, he writes “Oh, East is East, and West is West, and never the twain shall meet” only to close the stanza by saying that “There is neither East nor West, Border, nor Breed, nor Birth; When two strong men stand face to face, though they come from the ends of the earth!”. This poem could not have been more appropriate to describe the theme of the movie “The Hundred Foot Journey” (Le Voyage de cent pas ou les Recettes du bonheur) whose subject is akin to Kipling’s poem. 

Released by Touchstone Pictures and distributed by Reliance Entertainement, ‘The Hundred Foot Journey’ is ready to hit PVR cinema halls on 8 August 2014 and is waiting to lure you with its appetizing zest and tangy taste of a flavoursome entertainer. This movie has been produced by Dreamworks Pictures having Steven Speilberg, Oprah Winfrey and Juliet Blake at the helm. The central characters are being portrayed by talented actors such as Helen Mirren (Madame Mallory), Manish Dayal (Hassan Kadam), Charlotte Le Bon (Marguerite), Juhi Chawla and Om Puri.

Charlotte Le Bon and Manish Dayal

This film is a delightful fusion of cuisine, culture and human emotions. Preceding the actual filming of scenes, a lot of research went into experimenting with food, exploring various kitchens and adapting to unfamiliar techniques of cooking, which is central to the theme of this film. Shot extensively in the picturesque locales of southern France, in Holland and in the Cité du Cinéma studio in Paris, this comedy-drama tells a story of a displaced Indian family, which finds itself in the quaint and charming village of Saint-Antonin-Noble-Val in the Midi-Pyrénées region of Southern France, where they intend to start an Indian restaurant by the name of ‘Maison Mumbai’. Their immediate neighbour, Madame Mallory owns an elegant Michelin starred restaurant, which is often patronised by dignitaries, politicians and diplomats. She is horrified and  infuriated that a new Indian eatery is going to be launched by a bunch of incompetent and unqualified immigrants just 100 feet away from her refined and classy restaurant. Undeterred by her wrath and devious ways to suppress their business ambitions, the Kadams wage a gastronomic war against their opponent, where each one tries to surpass the other. The story finally concludes on a cheerful note with Madame Mallory acceding to and acknowledging the creative talents of Hassan, who wins her over with his culinary skills. She finally willingly takes him under her wing.

Oprah & Helen Mirren

Co-producer Opray Winfrey quoted in one of her interviews, “Food allows the blending of cultures and gives the ability to peek into another’s life. It is about a hundred foot divide between cultures.” After reading the novel on which this film is based, Oprah chose it as her ‘favorite summer read’ in 2010. She quoted, “It’s about human beings coming to understand other human beings and more importantly, after you get to experience or step into somebody else’s shoes or see them for a real human being, how you understand that you’re really more alike than you are different“. The underlying theme of this film explains that people can put aside their differences and appreciate each other’s universal qualities.

As part of the promotion of this film, Atout France, in partnership with Reliance Entertainment, Air France, Hyatt Regency Paris and the Midi-Pyrenees Regional Tourist Board, have organized a competition with a trip for two to win. The lucky winners will have the chance relive the experience of the Kadam family, as well as explore the charming and pristine environs of the Midi-Pyrénées, which has been beautifully highlighted in the film. 

For more details and updates, please consult the following links:

Website of Rendez-vous in France: in.rendezvousenfrance.com
The trailer of the film “The Hundred Foot Journey”:  in.res.rendezvousenfrance.com/VTS_01_1.mp4
Facebook page of Rendez-vous in France:  www.facebook.com/rendezvousinfrance
Twitter page of Rendez-vous in France: www.twitter.com/rdvinfrance

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Directeur de publication : Délégation Générale de la Fondation Alliance Française en Inde et au Népal

Rédacteur en chef : Laurent Elisio Bordier

Rédacteur/Coordinateur national : Siddharth Bhatt

Rédacteurs, contributeurs : Guillaume, Abhirami, Alexandre, Chintan, Cléa, David, Eleonore, Elie, Kanika, Karine, Nita, Thomas, Malvika, Marie-Joëlle, Meera, Mayuri, Mitushi, Alice, Prutha, Romain, Ritika, Manas, Supriya ...