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The Menu Review

Most often I would have just watched the film or TV show I am reviewing once before actively reviewing it, however for this particular film I watched it twice, once alone and then again with other people because I enjoyed it that much and wanted to share it with others. I think that’s a testament to this film in that watching it the second time was almost more enjoyable than the first.

The Menu follows a group of people who are all very rich and very stuck up as they travel to a remote island where a restaurant is waiting to serve them food of the highest class. However one of these guests is not like the others, Margot, a woman who was not on the original guest list and has been shoehorned into her place by Tyler, a man she is the date of. Immediately you can tell that this change has caused a rift within the kitchen and for head chef, Chef Slowick, who can immediately tell that Margot is not like the rest of the guests there that night and what goes on in the evening is dramatically affected by her presence.

The film starts off like any other chef TV show where we see glamour shots and descriptions of the food that the guests are eating, and then they become pompous in the way that they describe it, from a food critic decoding every aspect of what they are eating and seeing in the restaurant to Tyler himself – probably one of the most annoying characters in the whole film – constantly pining for the approval of a man who barely even knows he exists in chef.

As the film continues however the dark comedy really comes full force as we see characters being killed off, tortured, maimed and yet the menu continues and we find that this is all part of the elaborate evening that the chef and his cooks have created. It’s really enjoyable and shows you that art is something that can be taken to a level where there is no return and and far too often people take their privilege and lives for granted.

I love the symbolism in this film, from the adulterer having his ring finger cut off for defying the evening to Tyler, a man who constantly goes on about flavour palettes and demeaning Margot for smoking, is actually a fraud that can talk the talk but not walk the walk. We see an interesting character development in chef, having been this man with so much hope enjoying his first years of cooking when it didn’t matter what he was creating, just that people enjoyed it, and then becoming this cold man where all love for his work has been diminished yet he’s getting that attention that his former self never would have.

It makes you think, especially myself being a film critic in my own right, what are we actually doing when we write negative reviews of places and people? Does it really add anything to the world around us or are we just being nit-picky for the sake of it? All art should be admired because all art is subjective, what one person likes another may not and that’s ok, but really what matters is having that passion for it yourself and being able to trudge through the noise and the negativity to continue to make something that makes your life worthwhile.

It’s an absolutely fantastic film with a lot of very comedic moments, over the top dramatisation, and just characters that you love to hate and can’t wait to see what happens to them in the end. The final scene with the dessert course will always be my favourite and it’s the one that makes me laugh out loud the most, and I believe has the most symbolism. It’s a beautiful piece of art that I want everyone to enjoy because it knows what it’s doing, who its target audience is, and has so much depth that you can really get to know what the moral is and apply it to your own life too.

What do you think of The Menu?

Until next time.

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