I just watched The Menu, and while I am glad I didn’t watch it in theaters, I enjoyed it enough to recommend it. If you like the artsy and mysterious thrillers that are becoming a staple in A24’s catalog, The Menu is worth checking out.
The Menu takes place at the Hawthorne, an exclusive restaurant built on a secluded island where only a select few can dine. At $1200 a plate, the restaurant becomes an exclusive dining experience for the rich and famous. Unfortunately for the latest round of guests, tonight’s menu is something they won’t easily forget.
The film is breathtakingly beautiful. I am always in awe at the attention to detail put into cinematography. I am obsessed with the sterile perfection of the restaurant and kitchen and was even more in awe at the imaginative plating of the food. The colors, the lines, and the props have been meticulously organized to give this film its beautifully creepy atmosphere. I recommend The Menu if you are a nerd like me who is obsessed with visuals.
The plot is fine for what it is, but it is predictable. If you have seen any other A24 thrillers, you can guess what is going to happen. This follows a similar formula but with a more absurd tone. The film is still fun, and I appreciate the risks it takes, but do not expect an awe-inspiring twist or many surprises.
The acting is fantastic, and you should enjoy this movie for the performances. Without spoiling too much of the movie, the characters are creative, and the actors do a great job of doing them justice. My only complaint with this movie is that the ending is a bit disappointing. I didn’t hate this movie, but it was what I expected. While I appreciate the social criticism it makes, I believe this movie tries a little too hard to be deep. Don’t get me wrong, I understand that the point of this movie is to be over the top in its pretentiousness, but there are a few areas where I felt it missed the mark.
That said, I enjoyed The Menu. The performances are great, the cinematography is breathtaking, and it has a solid narrative. This wasn’t worth the theater ticket, but it’s great for something you throw on at home. If you have been interested in this movie, you can now stream it on HBO Max. If you have seen this movie, I am curious to know your thoughts on the ending.
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