Imagine if Hell’s Kitchen were a movie shot in one continuous take. That’s essentially Boiling Point, a British drama about one hectic night behind the scenes in a restaurant kitchen. Although head chef Andy is nowhere near as fiery as Gordon Ramsay, the drama feels just as high-stakes. A health inspector has just given them a poor rating; the chefs don’t get along with the hosts; the dishes and trash aren’t being taken care of; everyone has personal drama outside of the restaurant; and let’s not forget, they need to cook dishes for demanding, impatient customers (one of whom has a nut allergy…).
The fact that it’s filmed in one take means there’s little room to breathe, because it never cuts away from the action. But the restaurant setting allows for a large ensemble cast, so at least the story can regularly switch to different characters in a way that feels organic. Unfortunately, this also means that most of the storylines have little to no payoff. A number of side characters have only one or two scenes – minor asides that feel like palate cleansers before cutting back to the main characters arguing.
Still though, it’s a technically impressive, harrowing experience. The cast, the set, the cooking that takes place in the background, the story, the ambience, the annoying health inspector… it all feels authentic, almost as if you’re watching a documentary. The director, Philip Barantini, has experience working in the industry, and his insider knowledge shows. If you’re looking for an original, intense, off-menu drama, definitely check it out.