Comedy / Horror / Thriller
A young couple travel to a remote island to eat at an exclusive restaurant where the chef has prepared a lavish menu, with some shocking surprises.
A completely bonkers and over-the-top, yet perhaps brilliant satire
I won’t spoil anything with a synopsis, but rather try to intrigue anyone on the fence about seeing this movie.
The Menu has something fresh and interesting to say about the tired conversation surrounding the marriage between art and artist. There are some very clearly illogical and confusing elements of the plot that you can easily miss if you’re taking it at face value.
Overall, this movie isn’t meant to be a sensible, coherent and satisfying thriller. Instead, it’s a comment on a poignant phenomenon in our society: the way we view, consume, pursue, and ultimately obsess over those who produce the art around us. Sure, the movie is about a chef and his meticulous menu, but in reality the larger point is about the production of any type of art, namely filmmaking.
It seems to me that the filmmaker is making a very focused point about the state of movies nowadays. There seems to be a constant theme throughout about how often artist and their fans seem so detached from each other, even though their mutual approval of the art should be enough to bring them together.
An absolutely bonkers second act and a considerably more bonkers third act wrap up what I believe to be a masterpiece commentary on the state of filmmaking in 2022. The only moneymakers are massive superhero movies, massive studio A++ list celebrity movies, etc, and the makers of this film ask one simple question:
How long until we collectively call out their BS and ask for some simple bread?
The movie makes you question how far you’d go into “buying into the hype”, and conversely has a quite shocking commentary on those who consistently stay away from “the hype” without buying into it. Think of some of the ridiculous fashion trends that some of the highest brands in clothing perpetuate, and just how many people will blindly follow simply because there is an LV or GG stamp on it.
It’s no shock to me that a script with this kind of tonal shifting comes to us from the writers/directors of Succession. So much of the way this film is crafted reminds me of the show. Sharp wit, sarcasm that lies somewhere between funny and cringeworthy, twists, turns, and of course, the oh-so subtle thumbing of the nose at all the socially accepted, yet fundamentally insane reverence for brilliance that we hold dear.
As a movie-lover, this was one of the more thought provoking pieces of the year. This movie makes you wonder what the line is between brilliant artist and insane psycho. The movie makes you look around and find yourself in the all the characters; the artist, the art, and those who are (literally) consuming it.
All in all, this movie is an insightful parody of the state of not only the word of fine dining, but also fashion, art, filmmaking, music, etc. I might have a completely wrong reading of this movie, but hey, that’s what art’s about, right?