Seth Reiss and Will Tracy are in the script table of The Menu, directed by Mark Mylod, who has directed TV series such as Succession, Game of Thrones, and Shameless. Thanks to these 3 people, we realized that we need original ideas at a time when cinema repeats itself with spin-offs, sequels, and re-adaptations. We were so open to new things that I had to talk about the movie for hours when I left the movie, which is a feeling I haven’t experienced in many movies. So both in terms of aesthetics and story, The Menu is among the best films of the year. At least it will be on my list.
Let’s briefly touch on the subject… A group of people attends a luxury restaurant invitation. The chief of this special participation, which will take place on an island, is Cheff Slowik, known for his perfectionism. The group is treated differently from what they are used to from their arrival on the island. Also, has problems with the food that comes to their table. While everyone was having a great time at the first service, the reality behind this special invitation began to emerge towards the end of the Menu.
Fine Dining restaurants offer small meals with enormous craftsmanship, where chefs showcase their talents. The film introduces the participating group, including the audience, to unfamiliar food culture. Like the eaters, we are surprised at every new service. And with each new service comes a more absurd dish than the previous one. The movie starts out like a fun exploration at first. Together with the group, we are surprised at the food that comes, and we laugh at their comments. But as the progress of service, the movie’s pace begins to increase.
Chef Slowik explains the Menu they make before each service. As the audience, you realize that these explanations, which were interesting at first, become strange over time. Along with the food, Slowik’s attitude becomes more aggressive. And what bothers him most is someone who shouldn’t be there: Margot, played by Anya Taylor-Joy. When Tyler’s primary guest does not show up, Margot joins him and spoils the intellectual mood of the day from the very beginning. For her, Fine Dining is complete bullshit. This behavior of Margot, a classic eater, disturbs Chief Slowik and creates tension. However, the knot of the tension that we think will pass between the 2 characters is solved with the taco service, and the issue spreads from the two characters to the whole.
As soon as the taco service is served, we, the audience, understand that this special invitation has gone to a problematic point. The group, which has been in a completely “strange” attitude from the beginning, has been technically kidnapped, and they have to eat the Menu that Slowik has prepared for them. And even pay for it. After the tacos, that already high tempo of the movie is on the rise. After this point, the film loses all of its predictability, and the rest is left to the creativity of screenwriters Seth Reiss and Will Tracy. Although I can predict what will happen at a few points, the movie turns into a disturbing journey.
I can say that the film retains all its mysterious and disturbing demeanor until the end, although its tempo slows down at a few points. One of the main reasons is that it has an original villain. Chief Slowik, who has become a cult leader, has decided to punish someone for the wrongs done to him at the time. And he didn’t use logic in choosing these people. Someone even signed his death warrant because Slowik, didn’t like his movie. Even though Slowik gives reasons why he would kill them, I’d say he’s basically pure evil. Because why wouldn’t he?
The way the script is reflected on the screen is essential to me. Mark Mylod should be congratulated for this. In the words of Chief Slowik, he made an “exquisite” directing. From its editing to its directing, from its script to its acting, the film maintains its originality and creepy attitude at every point. This allows us to watch the 106-minute movie with excitement at every moment. Films in which the four main components of Directing, Screenplay, Editing, and Acting are closely intertwined and complement each other are rare. The number of movies I have watched so thinly designed in 2022 does not exceed the finger of one hand.
To sum it up… The Menu is an almost unpredictable intellectual cult horror that takes you on an exciting and strange journey from the very first minute. The best part of the movie is that it makes the audience empathize with its characters. Like them, we do not understand the incoming Menu; we try to make sense of it. As Chief Slowik’s intentions are revealed, we, like them, are astonished at what we have been through and cannot find a way out. And when we can’t find it, we focus more on the movie. That is why The Menu is a fascinating and enjoyable journey where no one is what they seem, a whole restaurant turns into a Fine Dining plate with everyone in it, and a classic Double Cheeseburger wins at the end.
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