Boiling Point, the “behind the scenes” of a restaurant
A single take shot for a series of individual stories that intertwine in a chorale story that - we can say - totally works, above all thanks to the great cinematography by Matthew Lewis, which transports viewers into a frenetic and somewhat crazy world, yet completely credible. After all, we are inside a restaurant on the Friday before Christmas, one of the busiest days for a kitchen. The day begins with a hygiene and safety check and continues with the visit of a famous chef accompanied by a food critic, a marriage proposal organised by a client with the complicity of the staff and a case of anaphylactic shock. Boiling Point is Philip Barantini's film that will soon become a series for BBC, and will debut on the big screen in Italy starting November 10th. We previewed it and we can say that it is definitely a film to see, not only for cuisine lovers. Here are some thoughts (and no spoilers).
Director and cast
Barantini's directorial feat is ambitious, Stephen Graham's performance, one of the most appreciated contemporary British actors, is masterful: he holds the main role, chef Andy, at the helm of a luxury restaurant in London. The film opens with him on a phone call as he walks down the street drunk, late again and struggling with sensitive family matters. Private and working life for the chef go hand in hand, in fact at the restaurant the sanitary officer notes that standards are deteriorating inexorably. Unstable and short-tempered, Andy struggles to hold the reins of the team, to the point of attacking the staff members, accusing them of various shortcomings, only to apologise once he calms down. Praise also goes to the Vinette Robinson's performance, he plays sous chef Carly, the real strength of the place, a professional who works well beyond her hours, often covering Andy's delays, struggling to get a raise and thus have a pay worthy of her efforts.
Boiling Point, a chorale story
But Andy and Carly aren't the only main characters in the story. Each cook and waiter has their own well-developed identity throughout the film, thanks to tight and concise dialogues, an individuality that intersects with that of everyone else, sometimes overlapping. The result is a plot that works, the collective story of a group of professionals struggling with one of the most demanding professions from a scheduling and pressure point of view, to which they are subjected, each with their own personal desire for redemption, their own needs (including economic and professional), relational difficulties. Note of merit also goes to the sound engineering, which in the single take shots often plays the lion's share, among bells for orders in the kitchen that are increasingly ringing and deafening silences. We do not reveal anything else, for now, but undoubtedly Barantini's film is the ideal way for a full immersion on what happens backstage in a grand kitchen, a narrative at times dramatic that does not skimp on a good dose of English humour.
by Michela Becchi