I had a stroke of London luck Wednesday, winning tickets to see the Helen Mirren-fronted UK gala premiere of “The Hundred Foot Journey.” It’s a Steven Spielberg and Oprah-produced film, and I discovered they both appeared at the New York City premiere a few weeks prior. Could you imagine if they came to London?! I, however, knew better; the press list a few weeks ago showed they wouldn’t be attending. But I did get to see the main stars of the film, including living legend Helen Mirren, vet actor Om Puri and newcomer Manish Dayal, which was rewarding enough.
Before the screening, Helen shared a few remarks alongside her co-stars about the film.
Admittedly, I had to adjust my expectations while watching the movie (which is based on a book), reminding myself that this is a PG film made by Disney. It’s a simple and harmless movie, far from a classic but still proved an enjoyable, feel-good 2 hours.
What I loved most about the film, besides the stunning cinematography of rural France, was Om Puri’s “Papa Kadam” character. Papa is an elder man with big dreams and ambitions, even if the odds looked frighteningly unlikely… odds his three more sensible adult children have no qualms reminding him of. By chance, he discovers a vacant restaurant/house space in bucolic France, and went with his gut to create his next big Indian restaurant. By staying true to his original vision, he not only achieved hard-earned success with the restaurant, but also inadvertently opened the way for his talented chef son to learn and shine at some of the world’s greatest Michelin-starred restaurants in France. It’s that message of staying true to your gut, even if it looks crazy (liiiiike moving from the U.S. to London on tiny savings and a prayer) which won me over.
Once the movie ended, many attendees and main actors socialized in the theatre’s foyer. Helen, though, disappeared by the time I entered the foyer (darn, I wanted that Mirren/Mister Levius selfie!). I can’t complain, though- this was an excellent way to spend a mid-week evening 😉