While “The Menu” handles the pretentious characters with a certain level of comedic flair, the humor may not appeal to those who don’t find the personalities of the rich and pompous entertaining.
|Screenplay By||Seth Reiss, Will Tracy|
|Date Released (In Theaters)||11/17/2022|
|Duration||1 Hour 46 Minutes|
|Content Rating||Rated R|
|Chef Slowik||Ralph Fiennes|
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The “Hawthorne” is one of the most exclusive and prestigious places to eat. Many don’t get to go once, but Chef Slowik decides to invite some who have experienced the output of the Hawthorne kitchen over ten times. But, the main focus is on two newcomers, Tyler and Margot; of which Tyler is an aficionado of sorts, who fawns over Chef Slowik, while Margot is someone who doesn’t value or find prestige in fine dining and would be just as happy with a cheeseburger with American cheese.
Things To Note
Why Is “The Menu” Rated R
- Dialog: Cursing
- Violence: Self-harm, blood, dismemberment
- Sexual Content: Dialog regarding harassment and sexual situations, but no showing of it in the movie
- Miscellaneous: Drinking and smoking
Please Note: This character guide is not an exhaustive list of every cast member, and character descriptions may contain what can be considered spoilers.
Starting in the fast food industry in the Midwest of the United States to now having a world-renowned restaurant, something has broken within Chef Slowik over the years. And because of the death of his joy, it seems he has decided the varying people involved with killing his happiness shall die too.
- You May Also Know The Actor From Being: M. Gustave in “The Grand Budapest Hotel,” Lord Voldermort in the Harry Potter franchise, and Gareth Mallory, aka M in Daniel Craig’s James Bond tenure
Excited for months over the opportunity to meet and eat Chef Slowik’s food, Tyler is a bit much for all parties involved.
- You May Also Know The Actor From Being: Peter in “The Great,” Hank McCoy aka Beast in Fox’s X-Men reboot and Tony in “Skins”
An escort who joins Tyler because Chef Slowik doesn’t allow people to dine alone.
- You May Also Know The Actor From Being: Beth in “The Queen’s Gambit,” Furiosa in “Furiosa,” Princess Peach in “The Super Mario Bros. Movie” and Gina Gray in “Peaky Blinders”
Elsa is Chef Slowik’s right hand who takes her job seriously to the point it is a little bit frightening.
- You May Also Know The Actor From Being: Liz in “The Whale,” and Linh in “Treme”
Our Rating: Positive (Worth Seeing)
Intense Characters & Awkward Humor
Whether they are a guest or member of Chef Slowik’s staff, each one brings a sort of intensity or awkwardness where viewers can find humor. One prime example is Elsa, Chef Slowik’s right hand, who finds herself having to manage all of the patrons, especially after it is clear they won’t make it out alive. Pay special attention to how she handles the frat bros for her curt responses to them, specifically about wanting bread, are hilarious in ways that reminds you it doesn’t take much, if you have a good sense of timing and tone, to make a funny moment.
It Doesn’t Feel As Long As It Is
Time length is an important factor in determining how good movies are, and just as Chef Slowik has his multi-course meal planned out to perfection, so does the combination of director Mark Mylod and writers Seth Reiss and Will Tracy. From the aforementioned humor to allowing each character just enough, though often barely enough, to stand out, you’re given a series of moments, be it comical or violent, to keep your attention and even hunger for a bit more.
On The Fence
You’ll Wish You Knew The Cast Members Better
As much as the average person enjoys a comeuppance, we’d submit the punishment of death doesn’t necessarily fit the crimes Chef Slowik cites. For some, you get it, they are the reason people lose their livelihoods and even had the ability to threaten Chef Slowik’s establishment and his influence. However, some being punished for a bad movie, being a pompous ass, or not knowing what they’ve eaten, just enjoying the restaurant? It’s an absurd reason for them to die the way we see them get killed.
And the added problem is, while some have deeper potential sins, the focus is on Chef Slowik’s knowledge and the reason why he thinks they deserve punishment. Which becomes almost the entirety of a character’s persona, the sin. As for getting to know them beyond that? You don’t get the opportunity, and it makes it so anyone living or dying isn’t of consequence, for you weren’t given a reason to get emotionally invested one way or another.
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