So there’s a film called The Hundred-Foot Journey releasing August 8. According to IMDB, it’s “A story centered on an Indian family who moves to France and opens an eatery across the street from a Michelin-starred French restaurant run by Madame Mallory.” Sounds innocuous enough, right?
Why? Because as much as I love Om Puri and Helen Mirren (and helloooo Manish Dayal), the last thing we all need is yet another The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel. You know what I mean — another film about how South Asians win over a stiff-upper-lipped European with their charming South Asian ways and colorful South Asian spices.
Seriously though, what’s with these movies?
How many South Asians does it take to win over one upper-middle-class European? What is this new genre? The Brown Man’s Burden?
Here’s what we know:
- The original book was written by Richard C. Morais, a Senior Editor and foreign correspondent at Forbes.
- The character of the patriarch of the Indian family was inspired by one of Morais’ friends, famed Indian-born producer and director Ismail Merchant
Maybe I’m being paranoid. Maybe I read too much Edward Said. But here’s hoping for a movie that goes beyond the jolly-brown-people stereotypes and a story that transcends the weathered Brown Man’s Burden trope.
But, look! There are positives. Here, in no particular order, are a list of reasons why The Hundred-Foot Journey could be good:
- The indomitable Om Puri of course
- Did I mention the hotness of Manish Dayal?
- Desi food galore
- Helen Mirren
- Two romances in one movie
- Charming French countryside
- An actual depiction of the ugliness of racism
So there you have it. Let’s all cross our fingers and hope for the best.
Find Kishwer on Twitter at @Phillygrrl.