At a certain point in their careers, sooner or later, all filmmakers need to do that project that reconnects them with the pleasure of doing what they do. That art of telling stories that can be distorted when you are constantly fighting to get ahead in an increasingly desert landscape or when you try to do it to please the wrong person. Basically they need the reminder of why they are in this in the first place.
There are more explicit examples of the joy of telling stories, including some from last year such as George Miller’s ‘Three thousand years waiting for you’ or what seems to be Steven Spielberg’s ‘The Fabelmans’. However, one of the best arguments in favor of enjoying stories as an art form is hidden in a satirical thriller about the rich. Yes, that’s ‘The Menu’.
Don’t shit where you eat
Now available on Disney+ after a visit to theaters that is not spectacular but not insignificant (70 million worldwide without making too much noise, not too bad), the film by Mark Mylod plays interestingly on two sides. It can be enjoyed for its broad allegory that dismantles the cultural elitism that is currently best represented in haute cuisine, or it can be enjoyed as a sharp entertainment with psychological horror and black comedy launched against rich of one of the main directors of ‘Succession’.
Here we see a series of wealthy diners headed to a remote island to enjoy one of the most exclusive culinary experiences in the world. One of the most celebrated chefs on the circuit, played by a superb Ralph Fiennes, and his team have prepared a unique and special menu for all diners. Though it won’t be as delicious to them as they might hope.
Of course, their plans will be disrupted with the presence of a young couple, the one made up of Nicholas Hoult and Anya Taylor-Joy. She, in particular, is the unexpected element for reasons that will be revealed and that will add the unexpected emotional incentive to a work that throws knives everywhere. Mylod and the scriptwriters Seth Reiss Y Will Tracy do not cut with your dissection that exposes the shames of the luxury experience that try to launder programs like ‘MasterChef’.
‘The menu’: below ‘MasterChef’
And as much as the delusional behavior of these elite diners is hilarious, both before sitting down at the table (every time Hoult opens his mouth it is hilarious) and when they are put between a rock and a hard place, the sauce is provided by the interactions between Taylor-Joy and Fiennes. Without revealing too much, its development is uncovering the figure of a genius who has lost the passion for what he doesunable to recover his mojo and trying to disguise it through elaborate supposedly satisfying flourishes.
With a skillful use of suspense in unfolding events, a shocking abruptness in its pacing and editing, as well as a terrifying tale of destruction with unexpected connections to Ari Aster’s cinema, ‘The Menu’ is a fabulous surprise. An intelligent film that does not give up pure and adult entertainment. A tasteful dishas appreciable in its details as delicious to devour.
In Espinof | The best comedies in history