Menu (2022) | Notes

“All except Margot have been carefully chosen, and all are about to become players in Slowik’s elaborate opera of humiliation, self-loathing and revenge.” (The NYT)

Directed by Mark Mylod —the lead director of Succession with 13 episodes. It’s a film about nerds and cults. The focus is food; the whole eating experience. Its genre, horror/thriller/comedy, is something that I don’t know much about. I watched this film thanks to the joy of watching Glass Onion and joking about it together with a friend. Glass Onion was an action/thriller/comedy as I understand. I thought of watching another thriller in a closed space. I saw Mark Kermode also drew a parallel between the two films.

The service class resentment is nice to see in a popular movie but it wasn’t as intricately described in the film compared to how it depicts the niche interest in food, for the super-rich. The temple, Hawthorn; and the executor, Chef Slowik. I saw a YouTube video-essayist reading the cult as an allegory of the influencer culture, pretty contemporary.

The characters are varied in terms of their relationship with this unique dinner and food. There are top-tier restaurant critics, tech bros who really like to have a bread, a food-nerd and an apostle of Slowik, his coincidental date, an uninterested movie star, and another wealthy couple who just attends the dinner as if it’s regular fine dine. The exquisite dinner is presented as an activity for the ultra-rich and it costs $1250 per person. Considering the crew, the organization, the number of the customers (12)… Not sure whether the “$1250 per person” is a high profit margin business or not, considering the accommodation costs of the whole crew, especially if they are also well-paid cooks.

What went well: the whole orchestration of the kitchen crew and their commitment to Slowik, the suicide of the sous-chef, initial introduction of the island, the daily life of the crew, inter-titles about the dishes, oh my dayum! cheeseburger scene, “more than you deserve, less than your desire” punchline…

I think the cynical people who also like Jiro: Dreams of Sushi would enjoy it. The producers probably knew and planned it from the beginning.

Some Letterboxd favourites:

“never thought i would leave a film being surprised that cannibalism wasn’t involved”, sophie

“even service workers get their own midsommar”, The Jay of Water

“She beat the menu monster by saying can I haz cheeseburger”, Megan Bitchell

“The Menu is the only film bold enough to ask the question: what if Ratatouille was directed by Ari Aster but with a half-baked execution and was neither as fun nor sharp as it thought it was?”, Hungkat

“he seemed a lot happier running that hotel, maybe should have stuck with that”, Benjamin Rosser

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