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  • Writer's pictureSteve

Boiling Point (2021)

I was wondering when we would hit it. The point, I mean. Stephen Graham is known for portraying roles that usually have a short fuse as well as temper. You could argue that if he blew his top right from the get-go, it wouldn't be a huge surprise.

He does go a bit loco, of course. When it was pitched to him, you can imagine the conversation. "We need you to be Gordon Ramsey, but by parts, more troubled and annoyed." I'm sure he snapped their hands off. It seems like dream casting, because if you know Graham, you know he is so much more than an angry Scouser that cooks food.

And there is more to this than just shouting at the poor unfortunate souls under his charge. Among the noise and hubbub, there are lives continuing for them all, beyond the confines of the kitchen, which we witness too, albeit briefly. The direction and pacing of the project is true to what you imagine a busy restaurant to be like. Heat, creativity, speed and perfectionism all play their part here as they would in reality and the project should be lauded for that.

All taking part on one evening, on the busiest night of the year, there are a myriad of potential nightmares to navigate safely through, which seems like an impossible task at times. Shot in a one-take, fly-on-the-wall style, the logistics must have been a nightmare, just on their own, so the director, Philip Barantini, must be commended for keeping it as real as he does under potentially overwhelming circumstances.

The acting is so good as to forget that all of these people don't do this for a living everyday, and whilst the story is somewhat predictable at times, it is no less engaging for it. The point, as I said, does arrive, like an unavoidable steam train laying waste to everything in a final third that is completely riveting.

Outstanding all over. Highly recommended.


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