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  • Writer's pictureSteve

The Menu (2022)

Without Fiennes' control, this would have been something of a circus. His portrayal of Chef Slowik is masterly and at times, downright unnerving. He's no Hopkins' Hannibal, there is a touch too much humanity in his abruptness, when meting out his punishments where he feels they are due and reasonable, where Lecter just made his victims suffer, guilty or not. In fact, the more innocent to him, the more succulent, I imagine.

As social commentary, Triangle of Sadness did this so much better, with downtrodden and ignored little-brained comeuppance an underlying hint at the reasons for existence, but it unfortunately never manages to convince us that this is anything other than what it really is. The little man may never get to eat at this most exclusive of restaurants, but if we're honest, the little man couldn't care less, and in many cases would probably rather not. He certainly wouldn't become angered at those that wasted their money on such a pursuit.

"You represent the ruin of my art and my life, and now you get to be part of it."

No, this brush with culinary finality, for all of its nonsensical ambition, is just one man having the worst day. Not the only day, you understand, as there were thousands just like it that came before this one, but at some point this individual, this terror in a Chef's jacket, became more than anyone else, in his own head, at least. His food had become too good to be eaten by even those that could now afford it. And so they must pay, for not being worthy.

I mentioned Triangle of Sadness, but it has the darkly comic sensibilities of Knives Out also running through it. It is there, but much harder to fathom or appreciate in between the frankly meagre courses. For a final meal, a cheeseburger says alot, and to that, you simply cannot argue.


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