The hundred foot journey is a movie that has nuances of the old foodie films that Steven Knight managed to come up with. It is worth noting that his input had an impact in the scripting of Eastern Promises as well as Dirty pretty things which are similar in that they have cultural perspectives embedded into them. The cultural conflict that is portrayed in the movie has a contrast between the Indian way of cooking which is characterized by heat as well as the intensity that Indian cuisines come with as compared with the elegance and precision that French dishes carry with an air of refinement. The result is a balance between two cultures that develops into a lesson that is nothing short of ethnic harmony (IMDb). It is a worthy object of study due to the themes and contrasts it brings as a result of a culture clash that is typical of any situation that an individual may encounter when migrating from one country to another. My thesis centers on the cultural theory, the struggles that are involved in the assimilation of people of different cultures as well as the resistance and differences that are shared between people of different cultures. Escaping an uprising which had a tragic ending in Mumbai for a calmer scenario in Europe, the Kadam’s who are led by Puri who happens to be their Papa.
Their travels lead them to southern France. Not to their knowledge is that they have actually exchanged a war zone back home for one in Europe. They are soon in a battle of supremacy as right opposite their open-air Mumbai experience is a prestigious Michelin-starred hotel which then gives the movie its name because it is just a hundred feet opposite to where they were set up. Culture theory is evident in this film as we witness the presence of interplay that is brought about through cultural tradition, diversity as well as cultural difference. Prominent in this film is the presence of cultural ideologies and its realization through consciousness. The film which shows the theme of conflict is in line with the theory as in this case when Madam Mallory perceives that there may be a risk with the status quo she attempts to frustrate their efforts of settling in by engaging in competitive sabotage whereby we get to witness both sides maliciously buying up all ingredients which include items such as crayfish and farm produce to inconvenience the other (“The Hundred-Foot Journey (2014). Trips made to the mayor to complain about how the other is violating the codes and conduct of that town. This is similar to how individuals react when they get the perception that there is potential danger. The reaction is that they respond to this acts of aggression in different ways. Through this reactions we get to realize the development of distinct social structures. When these new social structures are formed which can be compared to a kind of group and grind.
When such is formed it then depends on how co-operative they decide to be as well as how control is exercised. It also argues that it is organized in five stages the hierarchical which is represented by the government (Moran 34). This part in the film is represented by the presence of the mayor who is dragged into the conflict by both restaurant owners. The rule of law is used to maintain the rule of order but in this case it is used to sway the law to be favorable towards their cause. Unfortunately, the law is caught up in a tag of war to establish who between them has the right to control the other. Egalitarian characteristics follow next but it is not present until in the end of the movie when we see a reconciliation which is initiated by Marguerite, Hassan and Madame Mallory both on a personal and professional level. The coming together of both families symbolizes a change towards the acceptance and collaboration of two cultures that treat the other fairly and without bias. Individualistic tendencies are also brought out in the film by the fact that we do not get to see anything about the town and the way of life except the focus on the two neighbors and how they are unconcerned with their surroundings but hell-bent on outdoing each other (Moran 41). The individualistic traits of the characters paint a picture of a society that is not concerned with the welfare of everybody as a whole but on who does not belong in this group and what qualifies to make them exit the group. Fatalistic occurrences are also portrayed when the Indian family is hit with another tragedy that sees their new home be targeted by an arsonist who manages to burn their home to ashes just as their native home was destroyed. The narrators of the film try to break the notion that bad things happen to people who do not belong to a certain culture or that they are inviting ill omens by attempting to settle in an area that is foreign to them. Culture does not seek to divide us in any way but seeks to make us appreciate the different diversities that come with each one of us.
When something different comes to our lives and poses no threats we should not perceive it as one but treat the idea or person like you would want to be treated. Casting ones judgment on others only makes you look weak and insecure of who you really are. The difference in cultures is a light to make the world grow brighter and be able to appreciate other people’s beliefs and practices. Unfamiliarity should peak ones interest and have a perception that it makes the world go round. If it were that each one was the same, looked the same, behaved the same and did things in the same way that would be a form of enslavement in itself. We should live our lives but also give others an opportunity to live theirs. Hassan excelled in his quest to become a top chef and on his way there he was able to get madam Mallory another Michelin star (“The Hundred-Foot Journey (2014). The film comes to a good old school ending that depicts that out of diversity positive change can happen if we all but embrace the fact that culture is only a thing that tells us that another human being has a different thought processes than us. In that interaction process we might just learn something and add onto our current views of the world which will make it a better place.
Moran, Anthony. “Race/Ethnicity and social and cultural theory.” Routledge Handbook of Social and Cultural Theory, doi:10.4324/9780203519394.ch17.
Hallström, Lasse, director. The hundred-Foot journey.
“The Hundred-Foot Journey (2014).” IMDb, IMDb.com, www.imdb.com/title/tt2980648/.
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