The Menu Review

Wednesday 4 January 2023

Plot: A young couple travels to a remote island to eat at an exclusive restaurant where the chef has prepared a lavish menu, with some shocking surprises. 

Film: The Menu

Director: Mark Mylod

Writers: Seth Reiss and Will Tracy

Starring: Ralph Fiennes, Anya Taylor-Joy, Nicholas Hoult

When watching the trailer, it might seem like The Menu is some sort of thriller survival story that features food as a secondary element in addition to the plot… Wrong. Food is very much at the forefront of this film and my first guess, in all honesty, was that the plot would centre around cannibalism -I’ve never been so thankful to be wrong about something. 

The film starts with a young couple, Margot and Tyler (Anya Taylor-Joy and Nicholas Hoult), and seven others gathered on a jetty, waiting to take a boat to a private island, home to Hawthorne, an extremely exclusive restaurant run by Julian Slowik, Ralph Fiennes. Once on the island, it’s obvious to the viewer that things aren’t as they seem, Margot is the only one who seems to notice this, which means you’re rooting for her from the start and that’s always important with this type of thriller. Chef Slowik has meticulously crafted the evenings twelve-hundred dollar a head menu, but there’s more than just a menu planned for the diners. Even with the eerie music and the nervous twitches from the restaurant staff, I can say wholeheartedly; I wasn’t expecting the turn the film took.

Don't go into the film expecting wall-to-wall violence and gore, although both elements are present, as the film is more psychological in its approach. A slow burn with a satisfying conclusion. The film itself is more of an evaluation of hero worship and the lengths people will go to in order to fuel their own grandeur, than a commentary on the rich. Nevertheless, the scene of Margot enjoying a ‘real cheeseburger’ that only cost her $9.95 is incredibly satisfying cinematography.

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