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"The Menu"

By Daniel Lin Dec. 15, 2022

When I first agreed to watch “The Menu,” categorized as horror and comedy, with my colleague and dear friend Imran Shaikh, I was skeptical of whether I would actually enjoy it since horror is not a favorite genre of mine. However, I was pleasantly surprised, as the film focused more on comedy, with the only real horror element of the movie being its graphic imagery.


“The Menu” covers the events of a night at an exclusive restaurant on a remote island, where an acclaimed chef—played by Ralph Fiennes—has prepared an extravagant menu for 12 guests, each of whom paid the steep price of $1,250 to dine there. Even from the beginning, the atmosphere of the restaurant does not seem completely normal—the island has an eerie mood and the courses are odd. While the guests are still served exquisite food, the implications of each dish become increasingly creepy. For example, one of the courses features laser-inscribed tortillas that depict images of each diner’s darkest secrets. As the night progresses, the courses become even more uncanny, and the diners struggle to find an escape.


Although the premise of the story is simple, the plot is complex—the underlying theme of the entire dinner is carefully woven in and only fully reveals itself at the end in an exhilarating finish. The pacing is perfect as well; I never felt as if the suspense was being held out for too long, nor did I ever feel confused because of a rushed plot. Moreover, even the less action-packed beginning of the movie did not feel boring, as it was used to provide a glimpse into the lives of each diner.


One major highlight of the movie was the showcase of each course and its ingredients, which starts as a unique way to organize the plot but soon turns into an amusing commentary, highlighting the juxtaposition between the calm, culinary aspect of the film and the horrific situation unfolding in the restaurant.


The only complaint I have with “The Menu” is its overemphasis of the message that wealth corrupts people, an idea that is prevalent in nearly all movies about the super rich. This theme could already be inferred from the context and did not need to be stressed so heavily.


However, this issue is minor in comparison to all of the things “The Menu” does well. The production quality is astounding, and the film’s subtleties and nuances show a clear dedication to making this film an unforgettable viewing experience. Stunning, witty and occasionally grotesque, “The Menu” is an amazing movie that I would absolutely recommend watching.

5/5

  • ( + )Perfect amount of suspense

  • ( + )Witty and entertaining

  • ( - )Cliche theme

 

About the Contributors

Daniel Lin

Writer and Viewpoint page editor


Daniel Lin is a junior at Leland High School and the Viewpoint Page Editor for The Charger Account. During his free time, he enjoys watching television shows, sleeping, and playing tuba.

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