Tuesday, 11 January 2022

Boiling Point

Another food orientated day.
I took leftover dumplings and stew to a friend of mine before I went to Chester. 
My friend has a son and ex partner on intensive care, both very poorly with covid. 
It’s sobering to realise that things are not over for many where the pandemic is concerned .
I then took myself to the Storyhouse for an afternoon at the cinema.

 Long takes in film are not a new phenomenon. Film fans will easily remember those famous tracking shots in Goodfellas and the seminal Touch of Evil as well as those lengthy but somewhat theatrical takes in Hitchcock’s Rope but I can’t think of a film that has been totally shot and choreographed in one single take.

Boiling Point is such a film. 

Set inside a city restaurant we follow the fortunes ( and several misfortunes ) of the eclectic group of staff members led by a harassed and brittle senior Liverpudlian Chef ( Stephen Graham) who is trying to juggle, bad hygiene reviews, staff problems including a hysterical pot washer, disillusioned sous chef , and a french salad station worker who can’t understand scouse. . Add to the mix the sudden arrival of a much hated food reviewer, a racist customer flexing his muscles against a black waitress, drug taking and incompetent staff and a front of house manager more interested in Instagram reviews than staff support and you have all the ingredients for a dizzying drama. 

Director Philip Barantini has produced a relentless film, with the camera swooping in and around the restaurant in question like an owl who misses nothing. 
It is exhausting to watch and the constant motion continues for nearly 90 minutes, a remarkable feat in itself given the number of actors and the amount of dialogue and action which has been choreographed within an inch of its life.

Having said this, despite the expected chef rants and conflict moments there remains tiny gems of real pathos in this movie. The sadness of the black waitress ( Lauryn Ajufo)who has to deal with a racist customer , isolated and alone amid the chaos  is poignantly palpable and the moment where the warm hearted pastry chef ( Hannah Walters) hurriedly discovers her teenage helper has self abused is incredibly moving even though the scene lasts mere seconds.

Graham and Vinette Robinson (as Carley the sous chef) , lead the ensemble with great energy and chutzpah. 
It’s an exhausting watch to be sure but one that makes you think twice about the times you have enjoyed a meal out in a trendy eatery. 

38 comments:

  1. Barbara Anne5:45 pm

    How kind of your to take nourishing food to your concerned friend. I am wishing your friend's son and ex-partner well. In Virginia there are more than 57,000 new cases reported yesterday. These are worrisome times, indeed.
    What a roll-coaster of a movie! How did you have the strength to drive home?
    Enjoy your time in Chester!

    Hugs!

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    1. I felt the same as I did after watching SAVING PRIVATE RYAN

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  2. The pandemic is not over for anybody. It just depends whether you have been infected and how bad your symptoms are, unfortunately.

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    1. A reminder that we are not quite out of the woods

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  3. I hope your friend's son and ex-partner make a full and speedy recovery. The film sounds exhausting. I'm not sure I'd have the energy! When I read your post title, I thought you were going to mention our "great" leader and the shenanigans that are emerging. I've not only reached boiling point, I've boiled over.😠

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    1. I seldom talk about politics here, , I get abused enough lol

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    2. Quite understand. xx

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    3. I once almost got lynched speaking against the American gun laws

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    4. I remember that post... it went downhill rapidly.

      Jo in Auckland

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  4. It doesn't sound like a relaxing watch, but Stephen Graham is a brilliant actor, so it sounds like a good one.

    Covid is still with us causing so much pain to so many people. 😟

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    1. As an experiment in filming its worth a visit, the choreography and the filming is sublime

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  5. I think we all must know someone or a friend of a friend who had or has Covid, I feel sad for all the little kids who think this is normal it wasen't meant to be.

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    1. Unfortunately the people I know of with covid has increased
      Luckily only three have been poorly

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  6. Covid is very real and present, more so than ever. Despite many nonchalant attitudes I see online. It is sweeping this area, my friends and my dogwalker. And people even vaccinated are much more ill than is being told.

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    1. I think we have to just live it it, but when I hear of stories this bad so close to home , it’s important to say nothing

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  7. I know of quite a few who have had the virus- more than previously- I keep my distance automatically now x

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  8. That film sounds so special and daring. I would like to see it. Thanks for the review.

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    1. I’ll be interested in your review, as an experiment it worked well

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  9. Your review has wet my appetite. Though unless Gordon Ramsay and/or Raymond Blanc cook for me personally I have learnt to give restaurants a wide berth. I wrote "birth" - talk about a Freudian slip.

    As to Covid and some of your readers' comments: Knowing someone who has had Covid seems to be worn as a badge of honour. Calm down everyone. My credentials? I have been in close contact with several virus afflicted - albeit at a safe distance. The Apple of my Eye (who, unlike his mother, had been extra careful during the lockdowns) brought home a souvenir from his first group outing. Two days later, on a hunch he had himself tested. When he got the result he was gutted. On my behalf. He didn't pass it on. If he did, I was asymptomatic. And yes, to top it all, I am not vaccinated. Beat that if you can. The shame of it! Oddly doctors have a totally different approach. They couldn't care less. No bull. We are not all on our deathbeds - yet. Ask me to eat my hat later - when the time comes. I shall repent. In hell and in heaven.

    If you feel compelled to bring flowers to the funeral, make mine sunflowers; you know: Yellow, the most joyful of all colours. My gravestone's inscription? "It couldn't have happened to a more deserving person".

    U

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    1. We all still have to be careful ,
      We all have to live with things

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  10. Hmmm curiosity is getting the best of me. I may have to add this to my queue.

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    1. Even as a curiosity in film culture, it’s worth seeing it

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  11. Intrigued by the film ( used to be a chef) - will look out for it. Thanks for taking time to write your review :)

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  12. There do have to be edits because the file size if it's digital is too large to work with, and they do have to work with it adding sound effects, adjusting lighting, etc. The film 1917 was done in one shot (with creative edits for sound, lighting etc.). It took home many, many awards because of that.

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  13. The film sounds good. As soon as Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years celebrations ended, Massachusetts Covid numbers started and continue to skyrocket. As I understand it, some people are mildly sick and others are seriously ill. Today, the Center for Disease Control (CDC) recommended KN95 or N95 masks over the others. They stated other masks are not protective enough against the current highly infectious virus. Personally, I believe everybody is going to be sick with one version or another of the virus. It's all a matter of time.

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  14. I think I'd like the film.

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  15. I often look with admiration at some of the Fred Astaire dances that were filmed in one take. Probably filmed many times, but the finished products were quite amazing. Not a foot out of place.

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    1. I always liked what ginger said , she reminded an interviewer that she had to do the dance too, but backwards and in high heels

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  16. It must be a really stressful and hectic environment to work in a busy restaurant. It does make me think when I'm out for a meal!

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  17. From everything I have read and been told, the restaurant business is brutal, sounds like a good film.

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