The Menu is Hell’s Kitchen as Performance Art

So, this film is nothing if not iconic. It’s about a group of rich people at an avant garde restaurant where you pay $1250 to have an ‘experience’, not a meal. Where the chef tells you not to ‘eat’ anything, but rather to contemplate, enjoy, and savor. Just don’t ‘eat’. His food is too good for that.

Without getting too into spoilers, the film is shocking, and it escalates the shock value pretty consistently. It starts as a parody of fine dining, and ends more like Midsommar. And it’s… Truly something else… It’s part horror, part comedy, part surreal drama, part social commentary, part what-the-fuckery… I challenge anyone to try and categorize it.

Even now, I’m not quite sure what to make of it. I think I loved it, but I also hated it, but I can’t stop thinking about it. It’s a step up from Triangle of Sadness, I’ll say that much. The pacing and editing aren’t perfect, feels janky at times, but holy hell what a memorably bizarre experience when it’s all said and done.

Ralph Fiennes is straight up iconic as the enigmatic, psychopathic head chef, Julian Slowik.

Tangent for a second – there was a homeless guy sleeping in our theater. So that was a first. But what a fitting juxtaposition for a satire about rich people eating art instead of food. #Commentary.

This line was comedy gold. So was Hong Chau in this role. Damn.

But back to the movie. My only legitimate complaints: 1) This may have been the theater’s fault, but sometimes the on-screen text was cut off. Most likely an aspect ratio issue. 2) There’s no way in hell that real customers in this situation would put up with the chef’s morbid shit as submissively as they do. Definitely a zero on the plausibility scale.

But honestly, I’ll let that slide, because it’s so iconic. And that’s part of the commentary I guess. I don’t know. Just watch it. You’ll be confused and shocked and annoyed, and if that’s not the point of performance art, I don’t know what is.

Rating: ?!? / 10

Oh hey, it also has Reed Birney. A.K.A…

One thought on “The Menu is Hell’s Kitchen as Performance Art

Comments are closed.