Day 36: Mme Mallory & der Duft von Curry


On Sunday afternoon I almost felt like a local going to the neighborhood movie theater (a famous one apparently, the Schauburg, in my neighborhood off Bischofsweg) to see a film that caught my eye: Mme Mallory & Der Duft von Curry. I’m sure you can figure out the gist of the movie as well as I can so I won’t elaborate. I thought it would make a good afternoon for improving my German, so I invited my friends Hanne and Jens to go along with me.

The story line starts with a family moving from India after their restaurant was burned down from civil strife. They manage to move from an initial try in London to France. As they are all packed into a car headed into the countryside, it breaks down in a small town. They decide to put their stakes down in a run down house that happens to be directly across from a Michelin-star quality restaurant.

The son of the restauranteur always had a talent for cooking, and he wanted to pursue his passion. It was natural when the father needed a means of livelihood that the son would lead his family in creating a quality Indian restaurant for the area.

Through a series of twists and turns, the family encounters battles with the puffy Mme. Mallory, who owns the restaurant across from them. This light comedy has great music that manages to pull at the emotions. It also succeeds at getting a few subtle messages across. One is how difficult it is for immigrants to arrive and survive in a new country. Combined with the stuffiness of French society, it can be overwhelming if not tragic.

Without conveying the outcome, this is a movie that is well worth seeing. It can certainly be included in the few and far between movies about food. It shows the ups and downs in the food business and the passion it takes to stay in it.

Overall, the dialog in German was easy enough to follow, thanks to gorgeous visual and audio support. It is unlikely to be a native German film, especially with credits to Spielberg and Winfrey. I guess globalization makes Hollywood inescapable, even for a Sunday afternoon walk in the cinema.

Access to the trailer here:

You may have trouble recognizing this famous actress on the poster, but you will want to see this when you realize who she is.

Foot forward: I am two days past the halfway mark for my trip and will be starting Segment III at the end of this week. I will be traveling to Tashkent, Samarkand and Bokhara. If you are interested in this segment, be sure to look out for my posts next week. Access to the internet is unpredictable, so there may be some delays.

2 thoughts on “Day 36: Mme Mallory & der Duft von Curry”

  1. I can’t believe it!! Here you are halfway around the word and you beat me in seeing this movie. It is on my list!!! I wanted to see it as soon as it came out but commitments got in the way. After reading your review, I will definitely head out ASAP to see it. Off to Denver this weekend – can’t wait!! Looking forward to my little journey and more news about your next phase.


  2. After I raved about it Gee Kin told me the reviews were not very complimentary. I didn’t even know what it was about other than the poster at the movie theater in my neighborhood. I thought I could practice listening to spoken German, and Julianne had said that watching movies was one of the best ways to learn a language. I didn’t even know it was a Hollywood influenced production until the credits. But by then I was converted to the theme and the story line. I think about Melissa and how hard her work is. If anything, it brings some reality to the ardours of being a chef. I still recommend it and the music and scenery are luscious. And Helen Mirren played an amazing role as Madame Mallory–worth it just for her performance.


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