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"The Menu" Movie Review

Nathan is a film critic and aspiring author with a true passion for the film industry who hopes his writings will help launch his career.

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For a movie that dealt with a chef striving for perfection in his art, this film also strove for the same amount of perfection and achieved it. I saw this film two days ago and haven't stopped thinking about it since. The performances, the psychology, the mystery, and the mental chess match between Chef and Margot all resonate together to make a remarkable, delicious film.

The Menu centers on "foodie" Tyler who has paid for himself and his plus one to travel to a remote island and eat in one of the most respected and renowned restaurants in the world. His companion Margot isn't big into the lavish lifestyle and doesn't really understand why Tyler holds Chef Slovik so dear to his heart, as if the chef were an idol to him. Ten other guests join them: a couple who are considered regulars at the restaurant, two harsh food critics, an actor and his assistant, three high-ranking businessmen, and the chef's mother. While all these people seem to be random guests, it soon becomes clear, no one is there by accident.

It's difficult to speak on what I loved about this film without spoiling plot points (and some fantastic savory moments) so what I'll say instead is that this is a film that you don't want to try to rush to figure out. As Chef says, "Don't eat. Taste it, savor it." That line applies to his food just as much as it applies to the film. People in the service industry in particular will appreciate this film for what it states, what it portrays, and most importantly, what steps it takes to reveal the truth. I guarantee that the people who are "takers" rather than "givers" will see this as just another strange film whereas the "givers" of the world might just shed a tear for the tragic story hinted at in various moments throughout the film and will more than likely side with someone they didn't expect to side with by the end.

Anya Taylor-Joy and Ralph Fiennes were by far the standout performers of the film and the mental chess match between their two characters was such a thrill to behold. Every time they spoke to one another I was on the edge of my seat, not because I thought something drastic or unexpected would happen, but because of the intensity that something as simple as the looks the gave one another built up the tension in the room.

In conclusion, go see this film. Enjoy it in the theater. And be nice to the people that serve you. I give the film a 4 out of 4.

© 2022 Nathan Jasper

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