Comedy Is on the Menu

(Photo via IMDb.)

The Menu is being misadvertised. Based on the trailers, one might think it’s a horror movie or a Most Dangerous Game thriller knockoff. But it  is, in fact, a pitch black dark comedy, a gruesome satire about not just the world of cooking, but about art in general. Fans, critics, posers, even artists themselves are skewered, as director Mark Mylod presents his vision of an artist fed up with all the pretense and compromise of his world.

The artist in question is Julian Slowik (Ralph Fiennes), a renowned chef who runs one of the world’s most exclusive restaurants on a private island. He takes only 12 customers a night, and they must be ferried to the island via boat. There is no cell reception and pictures of the food are discouraged, all to force guests to live in the moment and appreciate the “ephemeral nature” of Slowik’s artistry. Such isolation also comes in handy when Slowik and his staff decide to turn one evening into an And Then There Were None-style murderous evening with personalized punishments for the guests ranging from the petty—repeatedly sending low quality sauce to a food critic—to the brutal—cutting off the ring finger of an adulterous guest—to the morbid—successfully encouraging a particularly cuisine-obsessed guest to commit suicide after mocking his poor cooking skills.

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