The Menu is a wickedly satirical, dark comedy about the parasitic cycle of consumeristic relationships between the givers and the takers in life. Yet in all honesty, these two are not mutually exclusive. Since everyone plays the part of one or the other at some point during their lives, many times switching from hour to hour, between the two. The film illuminates the problem of stripping all life of any meaning beyond our own making and in doing so the modern world has turned all relationships into economic calculations. Further, the movie brilliantly portrays the ways in which humans use each other, taking advantage of one another as if we’re all just choosing from a menu to get what we want and then discarding each other like a dirty paper napkins. And let’s be honest, in this godless world, the pursuit of more of what we want is all that matters, so even if a little human sacrifice is necessary to procure it, we’ll tolerated it.
The movie doesn’t stop there as it exposes our world. In deconstructing everything, by disenchanting what was once enchanted, life has lost all joy, happiness and purpose. Even the simple pleasures like a meal have become status symbols and therefore savorless.
There is a faint spark of hope in the movie. One can still recover the pleasures of life if they remember that it is the simple things that make it worth living. Seeing another person, not as a commodity, but as a fellow being with dignity, who deserves love, gratitude and respect. In doing so, it reveals how our relationships are meant to be a dance of blessing, as each person uses their gifts and talents to enrich the other.
Sadly not enough people understand this and for most it is too late. Guilt rears its ugly head with the knowledge that our sin is insurmountable and must be cleansed. Yet this makes no sense, for we are sure the material is all there is, which produces one nihilistic answer, suicidal immolation. Leaving those remaining to dine on ashes, with little hope that anything can ever change.
The cast of The Menu is devilishly good. Ralph Fiennes serves up a delicious performance as the premiere chef at the ultra exclusive restaurant, Hawthorne. Nicholas Hoult is perfect as the foodie devotee to the famous chef and Anya Taylor-Joy continues to prove how versatile she can be as the suspicious escort for Hoult’s fanboy. The Menu is full of things to make you think about while doing it in fiendishly fun ways. It is rated 4 out of 5 stars.