Le Saule Pleureur (The Weeping Willow) has one star in “Guide Michelin” but Mme Mallory (Helen Mirren) is desperate for more. Ambition could not be made of sterner stuff. Or tighter discipline. Mme’s sous-chef in training Marguerite (Charlotte le Bon) is as much a dish as anything that comes out of the kitchen.
The Kadam family, fleeing political riots in Mumbai, is opening a restaurant across the road. Papa (Om Puri) knows every survival trick in a competitive business world. Handsome eldest son Hassan (Manish Dayal) who learned to cook at his late mama’s knee, will cook his heart out to show conservative French palates that Indian food is pretty wonderful, too.
It’s going to be pots, pans, whisks and knives at a hundred paces. And rather jolly fun to watch.
Predictability, thy name is low-tension cinema. At times the delightful plot of Lasse Hallstrom’s film using Steven Knight’s amusing adaptation of Richard Morais’ first novel stretches credibility almost to breaking point. It takes a subtle swipe at Moderniste Cuisine, using liquid nitrogen to cook little more than a mouthful of food costing an astronomical amount. Hassan has become a celebrity chef in Paris but yearns for family and Marguerite. Papa and Mme look like becoming an item. I just wanted to get home to cook rogan josh!
At Palace Electric