The Menu is directed by Mark Mylod, and written by Seth Reiss and Will Tracy, The Menu tells the story of Margot (Anya Taylor-Joy) and Tyler (Nicholas Hoult) who are a young and wealthy couple who visit an isolated island to go to Hawthorne which is a lavish and exotic restaurant owned by the highly acclaimed chef Julian Slowik (Ralph Fiennes).
What appeared to be a basic dinner and an unforgettable evening is turned into something more sinister because Chef Slowik is one who views his food as a piece of conceptual art, decides to present his menu with an unsettling twist at night, and will leave the guests in awe.
THE MENU: THE DISCREET CHARM OF DECADENCE
Let’s begin by stating that the storyline that is the basis of The Menu is over a slow-burning fire. This isn’t just caused by the writing, but the outstanding acting performance by the actor Ralph Fiennes. The British actor isn’t content with his role as Chef Slowik and instead transforms into himself. His eyes provide a glimpse into his plight and his smile is a reflection of his sexiness. Julian Slowik is a tormented character who clearly has an immense gap in his. This is beautifully explored on the tape, providing details piece by piece without any rush.
The tension builds gradually, with each sequence shown, and each new cymbal within the image. The suspense is a snowball increasing by the second, and we do not exactly when it will explode. Chef Slowik joins us by hand throughout this heart-racing journey and makes us question his motives, as we explore the past of him and his motives.
The feature film, using elements of humor and terror for the psychological is an ingenuous political critique on the privilege sector. As the story progresses, the film exposes the numerous internal battles that all of the diners face at the restaurant. Although they have a privileged financial status and can afford to eat at an exquisite restaurant, they suffer from conflicts that consume their souls from within. The money is an escape, as well as a refuge escape for them.
The theme of this film not only pertains to the clients but it also applies to the character Ralph Fiennes. Chef Slowik is an individual who is obsessed by the capitalism of our society. He is an expert in the work he performs, because it is obvious that there is no one like him. However, he is demanding more of himself to achieve an impossible excellence. The Chef and his customers are not as disparate than it appears, as at the end of the day it is a matter of fact that they are in the same space. The menu is a reminder that privilege and success is not enough for people who have all.
In its own way, in the same way that the film allows us to get lost in the thoughts of the characters, and offers us the chance to explore the thoughts of other characters, there is another aspect that isn’t explored in any way and that is the chefs. We witness the passion to their work and we see the admiration that they feel for their Chef. In addition we have no idea what more about them.
They are who they are. How did you arrive at the restaurant?
What was the reason Chef Slowik pick them? What were their motives? What goals do they hope to accomplish? We don’t get the answers because these are questions that the film doesn’t attempt to answer even once. It’s a real shame, since the plot could have been more entertaining, if each cook a distinct distinct identity. Perhaps not all but at least , a few. They are then marginalized and become insignificant.
On a visual front the film is stunning. You can’t ask for more from the film’s goal to demonstrate the reason why the dishes of Chef Slowik’s restaurant are highly sought-after. The surroundings are drenched in cold tones, and the browns and grays dominate prominently but the majority of the dishes are vibrant as they are filled with warmer hues that are not just pleasing to the eye however, they also provide stunning contrasts in the palette.
The close-ups that are used in the preparation and plating can make us feel like we’re in the kitchen. They also let us imagine the scents, flavors and textures of the food item. It is the Lebanese, Peter Deming, who has worked on numerous occasions with directors of a renown like David Lynch, Sam Raimi and Wes Craven, is the cinematographer responsible for whetting our appetites through his lens.
The menu is effective in a variety of the ways the author suggests, but it fails in other. It is known that the tape is dealing with black comedy. It is acknowledged that certain scenarios which are presented could be absurd in nature due to the character of the movie. But , despite that, many good scenes (without needing to say more to avoid falling into spoilers) are dealt with in a sloppy manner.