The Menu Movie Review


Ilona Harutyunyan

Chef Slowik capturing attention from his staff as he communicates with the diner customers.

Food critics have the power to completely destroy one’s livelihood and progress in their career by announcing a single opinion. In the movie The Menu, the main character made sure to recognize these critics and burn them apart…literally. This movie has been available for at-home streaming on HBO since January 3rd and gained its popularity on TikTok. In the movie, we are introduced to the main character, Chef Slowik, and his staff on a remote island. Located on this island is a group of elites who are set to dine in Slowik’s restaurant. It was established that these diners are extremely rich, as they wear expensive clothes, have entitled mannerism, and use affluent vocabulary. These privileged people have high expectations of their awaited meals since Chef Slowik is a respected figure in the cooking industry. 

This respect is not reciprocated as Slowik blames the diners for ruining his career. These people have little interest in the art of cooking itself and some even criticize him, therefore the chef despises them. Their deceitful nature along with their virtue of destroying his life’s craft made them perfect targets in Slowik’s eyes. His psychological plan of getting revenge generated the thrill of it all. However, Slowik was complicit in his own suffering from the very beginning. Slowik himself seemed to gloss over the fact that he is responsible for the hell that he’s trapped in and promotes hypocrisy from the viewer’s perspective. 

This antagonist has driven his prices to the point that his art isn’t accessible to the people that he wants to share it with – the poor. Ultimately, this relates to a growing conflict in our society today as the value of the dollar decreases, so does the inequality between the economic classes.  The audience is led to the conclusion that if Chef Slowik wanted to make a difference in society, he would allow anyone to dine with him.

In regards to performance, Anya Taylor-Joy, portraying Margot perfectly expresses the angst and anger her character feels. Since Margot wasn’t part of Slowik’s original guest list and plan, her presence was risky and exciting to watch. Her embodiment of this role was another reason why I enjoyed the film.

As the ending is approaching, dessert is finally served and the chef’s preferred dish is a traditional toasted s’more. He was the first to burn during this dish and I believe the punishment does fit the crime. If you can’t take the heat, get out of the kitchen!

The blend of visually appealing meals and cinematography made the movie very entertaining. I would describe this movie as a modern psychological thriller filled with symbolism and greatly recommend watching it!