Every good restaurant has a “kitchen of hell” / Cinema / Nezavisimaya Gazeta

The cooking thriller “Boiling Point” for a night in the kitchen of a restaurant is released

The chef’s job is not to get burned at work. Film frame

Phil Barantini’s “Boiling Point” was nominated for a BAFTA Award and premiered in Russia as part of the New British Film Festival – now it’s time for a full rental. The feature film “jumped” from the eponymous short film of the same author, shot in 2019, starring actor Stephen Graham in both films. However, the main thing that catches the eye at “Boiling Point” is that it was shot in a frame. At least that’s what it looks like – and this is the best technical solution to this story.

Chef Andy John (Stephen Graham) is on his way to work. He is already late, not sober and in a bad mood, because he forgot an important event in his son’s life, as well as to buy groceries and check the kitchen before Christmas, Friday night, when there is a particular commotion in the restaurant. room. A meticulous health inspector waits on the spot, without blinking an eye, lowers the restaurant rating for minor offenses – one did not wear gloves while cutting oysters, one washed one’s hands in the vegetable sink, the refrigerator temperature is off and the limits are off etc.

The atmosphere heats up, the employees attack each other and Andy – all this before the guests even arrive. A few minutes later, the doors will open, the room will be filled with people, among whom, luckily, there will be a great chef – Andy’s restaurant investor, a ruthless restaurant critic, a girl with allergies, bloggers, very capricious and very happy companies.

The camera is not in a hurry, but stubbornly and unabashedly pursues the heroes. Not only Andy, who rushes between the open kitchen, the hall and the utility rooms in an attempt to prevail a fragile peace, but also, for example, waiters who resolve minor conflicts on the go and fulfill the requests of guests or a relaxed laundry dishwasher who manages to buy drugs. In each, hidden from prying eyes, but not from the spectator, a corner of the restaurant has its own drama, which is not always directly related to the common cause, but in one way or another affects it. Everything is at an end, and the praise to the chefs who have prepared beautiful appetizers or delicious desserts, in the next second are replaced by screams, tears, and even attack.

Despite the familiarity of the action, the film clearly crystallizes the main stories – and the director returns to each of them in turn, revealing the characters. Manager Beth (Alice Featham), who looked like an iron lady, looks vulnerable and the cowardly waitress, on the contrary, determination, the excellent chef (Jason Fleming) who came to visit shows that his causticity and arrogance and things are pretentious, they do not go so well, and the same cooking the critic (Lourdes Faberes), on the contrary, shows competence and objectivity. Here and there – fragments of conversations, pieces from the lives of others. A whole range of potential visitors, customers who are always right – even if they are annoying bloggers demanding off-menu dishes, noisy strangers or racist ignoramuses. And of course, a girl with allergies – this story turns into a real thriller.

In terms of production cinema, Boiling Point also looks very convincing. Like a reality show, culinary and dramatic, for the kitchen and the cooking and for relationships, without which there is no team – and the more successful and flawless it looks from the outside, the more it boils, boils, burns and explodes from within. The degree of tragedy of the situations rises to the end, where not only jobs but lives are at stake. The space is narrowing – the narrow, claustrophobic utility rooms, especially in contrast to the spacious hall – are overwhelming, but even the rare exits to the street do not allow a breath of fresh air. Here they suffocate in the literal and figurative sense.

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