"The Menu movie explained" takes us on a culinary journey, delving into the hidden narratives behind each dish and highlighting how culinary choices transcend flavors.
Written by Seth Reiss and Will Tracy and directed by Mark Mylod, The Menu is a satirical horror thriller set to release in 2022 in the United States. John Leguizamo, Janet McTeer, Ralph Fiennes, Nicholas Hoult, Anya Taylor-Joy, Hong Chau, and Judith Light are all part of the ensemble cast.
It follows a young couple as they go on a romantic getaway to an isolated island for a dinner at an exclusive restaurant, where the chef has planned an extravagant spread—complete with unexpected twists and turns.
Searchlight Pictures distributed the picture in theaters across the United States on November 18, 2022, following its global premiere on September 10, 2022, at the 47th Toronto International Film Festival. According to reviewers, who lauded the script and acting, the film earned over $79.6 million globally.
Fiennes was nominated for Best Actor at the 80th Golden Globes, while Taylor-Joy was nominated for Best Actress - Musical or Comedy. The 51st Saturn Awards presented five nominations for the picture, one of which was for Best Thriller Film.
The island restaurant Hawthorn, where the film takes place, charges hundreds of dollars for each dinner. One of the most lauded talents in the culinary industry is head chef Julian Slowik.
Among the invited guests are three obnoxious businessmen, a cuisine critic and her coquettish editor, a former celebrity and his aide, a pair of uninterested elderly spouses, and Slowik's mute, drunken mother.
Tyler and Margot are the main protagonists. Tyler is a self-proclaimed foodie who is completely enamored with renowned chefs. Visitors learn about the island's distinctive features when they arrive.
Just like a meal is structured into courses, so is the tale. Slowik explains his goals after the fourth course, when casualties begin to fall precipitously. No one will make it through this, the last supper service at Hawthorn. Following the initial disclosure, each subsequent course brings a fresh terror.
After losing his drive as an artist, Slowik plans to get revenge on those responsible for his demise as well as on those who benefit from his colleagues' creations. Margot isn't one of the invited visitors; he learns fast. Tyler recruited Erin, an escort, to replace his ex-girlfriend, as Hawthorn does not accept bookings for escorts.
He brought Erin here to die voluntarily so he could have his last dinner, since Tyler was also forewarned of the evening's trajectory. Since Erin isn't supposed to be there, Slowik suggests that she perish along with the servers instead of the people they serve.
After several failed attempts at evasion, Erin learns that Slowik had worked as a line cook in a diner in a small town. Even though he's sad now, Slowik used to enjoy cooking for little to no money and no status; however, the years spent accumulating both have stifled the passion he once had for his artwork. Erin discovers her escape route in that. Erin violently dissects Slowik's menu design after another failed escape attempt.
He adoringly prepares a plain cheeseburger and fries when she requests them. She desires her food to be taken away after only one mouthful. Slowik gives in and allows Erin to flee for her safety. Eating her hamburger and using the menu to wipe her lips, Erin watches from a safe distance as Hawthorn explodes.
A young couple in "The Menu" movie
As the evening progressed, Chef Slowik unveiled his evil yet purposeful plans for the meal, which were described at the end of the menu. There was no randomness or sadism in the murders, arson, and destruction of Hawthorn.
The elitism and pretentiousness that plague the fine dining sector sapped Chef Slowik's passion for cooking during his career; so, he is punishing Hawthorn's patrons for this trait.
The affluence of the patrons has driven innovation in the food sector but at the expense of the eating experience, which has widened the income divide and sapped the joy and excitement of food.
The avaricious elites who utilize a table at the Hawthorn as a status symbol are making Chef Slowik feel like a ghost of his old self, and he feels compelled to take action as a result.
At the end of The Menu, with its devastating last meal, Chef Slowik (Ralph Fiennes) aimed to humiliate and offend his guests, who were accustomed to living lavishly and without consequence, because he wanted them to feel ashamed and offended.
He aspires to fix his superficial, self-serving, and emotionally distant audience by connecting them to the genuine human experience.
The famous chef insisted his clients feel complete powerlessness in the hands of another. One last taste of helplessness before they perished was all he desired.
By the conclusion of The Menu, Slowik had ample opportunity to act on the decades of suppressed animosity, and the fact that their consumerist elitism was equally to blame for the loss of cooking art only served to inflame his anger.
At the end of the menu, Tyler's deceit and his efforts to impress Chef Slowik are exposed. After Slowik invites Tyler into the kitchen to prepare his signature dishes, Tyler begins by mentioning the ingredients and techniques he uses.
As a result of his carelessness, Tyler makes an underdone lamb, which he then shames his hero and guests for. Tyler nods his head in agreement before apologizing when Chef Slowik whispers something into his ear. It turns out that Tyler hung himself with his own necktie after hearing the whisper.
The evening takes an unexpected turn when Tyler, who knew Slowik was planning to kill everyone, still goes to the dinner and brings Margot. It becomes clear that Tyler had contempt for the working class and service employees; his suicide was probably an attempt at self-reproach and sycophantic devotion.
The words that Slowik murmured to Nicholas Hoult were never part of the original script, and the fact that they remain a secret allows Hoult to keep his master manipulator techniques a secret.
By keeping his expert manipulation tactics under wraps, Slowik demonstrates his dominance over his guests and encourages viewers to conjure up the worst possible conversation.
Even if it's a point against the storyline, the lack of self-preservation in the Menu's finale is really one of its strengths. The visitors don't appear to be making any effort to leave Hawthorn and the secluded island, despite Chef Slowik's invitation.
Knowing their motivations, Slowik anticipated that they would probably not try to flee. But just in case, he made sure he had some blackmail material on hand.
The guests in The Menu didn't put forth more effort to stay alive because Slowik possessed private information about them. Individual etchings on the tortillas displayed their covert doings and unveiled most of these secrets in the taco course.
The guests on The Menu prioritized their reputation and pride over their survival instincts and thus lacked the same level of emotional reasoning as viewers.
At the end of the menu, it was revealed that the guests would prefer death to deal with the fallout of Chef Slowik disclosing specific secrets, and that money was the most important thing.
Even Slowik's personnel had little trouble locating the men because they made no effort to flee. But the ladies made absolutely no effort to flee. Returning to Hawthorne's dining hall, they reminisced and eventually accepted their destiny.
Who is Anya Taylor? Everyone in the film, including Joy's character Margot in The Menu, isn't exactly who she seems to be. Something is awry with her background, though, and Chef Slowik notices her before anybody else does. The real name of Margot is Erin, and she is a sex worker.
Margot has worked for Erin before, and Richard, who goes to Hawthorn with his wife, is known to have wealthy clients. Chef Slowik finds Margot's art fascinating, and he thinks they have an understanding that none of the other guests on The Menu have.
Margot isn't a snob about money; she's just someone who bears the ill effects of the well-off, like Tyler, and reaps the rewards of their generosity.
The protagonist, Tyler Ledford, and his date, Margot Mills, take a boat to Julian Slowik's private island and dine at Hawthorn, an upscale restaurant. After explaining that Margot is not Tyler's invited guest, maître d' Elsa gives the party a tour of the island.
Using laser-printed images on tortillas, Slowik unveils a series of courses that expose uncomfortable truths about each guest. Richard and Anne Leibrandt are publicly drowned in front of their guests as sous-chef Jeremy takes his own life in the fourth course. Doug Verrick, an angel investor who Slowik gave ownership to during the COVID-19 pandemic, drowns in front of the guests.
Having sexually harassed an employee named Katherine, Slowik lets her stab him in the fifth course. The ladies enjoy a meal with Katherine, while the guys play a game of hide-and-seek to see if they can get out of the island alive. All of them, though, are apprehended by Slowik's staff.
According to Slowik, he invited each guest because they either had a role in his disillusionment with his craft or because they profit from taking advantage of people like him who work as food artisans.
The end of the night, he says, will see the demise of all living things. Margot reveals herself as Erin, an escort who worked for Richard; she stopped seeing him after he hired her to pose as his daughter.
In spite of Slowik's invitation, Tyler's cooking skills fall short of his expectations. An envious Elsa assaults Margot after she sneaks into Slowik's house. Margot stabs her to death after they get into a fight.
After arriving, Dale, a member of the Coast Guard, returns to the kitchen to admit that he was actually a line cook in disguise. In the midst of dessert's preparation, Margot confronts Slowik about his "loveless" cooking and casually orders a cheeseburger and French fries, avoiding the air of refined dining. Margot boards a Coast Guard boat as Slowik personally prepares the meal.
Audiences, bloggers, and critics all agreed that the comedy-horror picture The Menu was fantastic. For people who enjoy films that make them think, it was a delicately made treat.
A thrilling plot, excellent acting, and an A-list cast made up the film. Two Golden Globes were among the many accolades it was nominated for, and it received rave reviews from critics. The Menu mocks modern society for its flaws in the era of social media, but many were confused by its conclusion.
Though somewhat abstract, the film's cynicism and suspenseful plot managed to instill a feeling of skepticism in viewers. As a whole, The Menu was an excellent film that made people doubt everything.
"The Menu" concludes with a twist that not only serves as a satirical commentary on foodie culture but also adds a layer to the story of the artist losing his passion. The ending is open to interpretation, leaving audiences pondering the complexities of the characters and their journey.
The closing scenes of "The Menu" are rich with subtle details that offer glimpses into the characters' destinies. Pay attention to visual cues, dialogues, and symbolic elements to fully grasp the nuanced ending and its implications.
The ending of "The Menu" serves as a cohesive thread, weaving together the film's overarching themes of satire on foodie culture and the underlying narrative of an artist losing passion. Understanding this connection enhances the depth of the cinematic experience.
The Menu movie explained here provides a comprehensive understanding of the ingredients that comprise the delectable journey of a gastronomic adventure, ensuring a flavorful resolution to the culinary narrative.
"The Menu" is a dark comedy that has captivated audiences with its dark humor and satire on foodie culture, while also revealing the artist's waning passion.
The film's box office success, earning $79 million against a $30 million budget, and its subsequent HBO Max adaptation have sparked both celebration and division among viewers.