The Menu is a 2022 film directed by Mark Mylod in which a couple travels to a lavish and exclusive restaurant where the famous chef has some sinister surprises as a part of the meal. Here is the trailer:
In the movie, the guests are all extremely affluent people, like a Saveur food critic, an actor, businessmen, and investors. They all seem interested in the status that comes with dining there even more than the actual food itself. The food, however, is in itself a mockery of the absurdity of many fine dining and adventurous restaurants’ menus. One course is a “breadless bread course,” which appears to be just a series of dips. The chef and the workers are also a part of the commentary. The chef is the only one who speaks freely, and when the workers do speak, it is only in response to the chef. The militaristic appearance of the dynamic between the chef and workers is another commentary on the way kitchens are often run. This movie utilizes hyperbole to show the extremity and absurdity of these overly expensive and strictly run restaurants that are used as more of a symbol of status than an actual enjoyable experience by their patrons. The exaggerated working conditions, dishes, and extremity of the ending are all ways the writers are pointing out an actual facet of society. In the end of the movie, the chef announces that all of the customers and staff, including himself, will die at the end of the meal. Again, the extremity serves to highlight the impossible blend of art and commerce and the snobbery of the food industry. While the movie may seem to just mock the rich and the fine dining industry, it also aims to criticize society for change through the sympathy the viewers gain for the characters. The chef has been wrapped into a vicious cycle of forced creativity that has driven him to insanity where he kills himself and everyone else in the restaurant. We also feel bad for the customers that were quite annoying in the beginning. The “no way out” feeling definitely makes the audience think about how entrenched our society is in a status-seeking and money-spending cycle that doesn’t end well for anyone. I really enjoyed this movie and it really made me think.
3 thoughts on “Satire in The Menu”
We both did The Menu, but I like how you went one step further in your analysis.
Watching this movie it definitely did not feel like a comedy at first, it was very gruesome and dark and it’s interesting how satire can take many different forms asides from just comedy.
I loved this movie, I was on the edge of my seat throughout the film. Excellent analysis of this film.