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  • Writer's pictureWill Scarbrough

Review: The Menu

A young couple travels to a remote island to eat at an exclusive restaurant where the chef has prepared a lavish menu, with some shocking surprises.

Anya Taylor Joy, Ralph Fiennes & Nicholas Hoult.

The Menu is a nail biting, seat gripping, guilty hilarious thrill ride from start to finish. The directors involvement with Succession is clear as day, from its colour grading to its camerawork. Even less subtly through its themes on class and the rich.

Ralph Fiennes is so clearly the star here with this subtly unsettling performance that drives the film to its very point. Many instances involving his character had me rubbing my palms in anticipation of the worst possible outcome. Anya Taylor Joy impresses too, despite taking on another thriller role that we’ve seen from her before, she shines over the other characters as the one we root for most.

I was so easily fooled by Colin Stetson’s score, so beautiful yet familiar, I was so confident it was composed by Nicholas Britell’s that I left the cinema ready to complement his entire work. This was not the case, Colin impressed me with how sublime this score is and I do believe it’ll be overlooked by some. It builds and builds and creates a holy atmosphere, the feeling of desire that all the characters feel in one way or another. The directing is tight and compliments it wonderfully, while the runtime felt longer, I couldn’t help but feel enthralled the whole time.

The entire cast does great, while not as impressive as Anya and Fiennes, they were all easy to watch. However, I would have loved a better deep dive into other characters and their past, understand them more. As clear as it is that they aren’t the best people, I longed to see what redeemable traits they did have, instead of being viewed as inherently bad. While others oppose this, I personally would have liked an extra 5-10 minutes onto the runtime to flesh out a few details and bring some more emotional conflict into the film.

To conclude, I had a blast with The Menu. While funny and thrilling, it did have a lot to say under the surface about class and the rich. I did question whether Kendall Roy from succession would show up, but, that’s another story.

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