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Chef

July 08, 2014 By Mike B
Movie Review

Chef film review

What Worked? 

Art is a form of expression that cannot be held down for very long; eventually, the creative side of an artist needs to breathe or else the artist will die. Jon Favreau takes it back to his indie days and serves up Chef, taking a break from Iron Man mode. He stars, writes, and directs this film that has truly become the feel-good movie of this summer, and not in a tacky way. He surrounds himself by a talented cast, including Robert Downey Jr, Scarlett Johansson, John Leguizamo, Sofia Vergara, and Oliver Platt.

Favreau weaves a script that is naturally funny and touches upon the essential theme of preserving the creativity that keeps you alive. What are we really doing on this planet if our goal is to maintain “the routine”? That’s exactly what the film marinates in, along with fatherhood and second chances. If the visuals in this film can be described in one word it would be this: mouth-watering. The slowly roasted cuts of beef, the sizzling sauteed onions, the butter-grilled bread with cheese oozing out…let me have a moment. Okay, you’re probably going to want to grub on something right after the film, so just keep that in mind. The talented cast, along with the heart-warming script, is the real meat and potatoes of it all.

Carl Casper, played by Favreau, is an artist in the kitchen, but lately he has fallen into a hole of comfortability. Casper was once regarded as one of the most lively creators in the kitchen, but in the latest review by renowned food critic Ramsay Michel, he’s depicted as a sell-out. Favreau does an amazing job of portraying the every-man, as well as an artist that is completely passionate about his craft. Favreau is fantastic in every scene, especially the ones with his on-screen son, Percy, played by Emjay Anthony. Their interactions are genuine, and rather relative in their discoveries of each other. When the food truck gig starts up and becomes a success, the audience is brought into a state of mind that is free. Carl, once again, pays the rent by doing something he loves.

Watching Chef is like taking a bite from that nostalgically delicious sandwich you used to love, after a long while of not ordering it. The film itself is an inspiration to be a true artist or at the very least it will have you chasing a Cuban sandwich.  At the end of the day it’s just you and the canvas; you have to live with what you decide to paint.

Potential Drawbacks:

It could’ve been more dramatic, it could’ve been funnier, sure, but that would’ve taken from the realistic vibe of it all. It’s not a mainstream comedy by any sense of that categorization, so viewers beware.

The story line is nothing new, but it makes up for it with the dialogue. You already know what’s going to happen before it happens, you just don’t really know how it will happen. Additionally, there are cameos in the film that you might wish could be in the film longer.

Film Recommendations:

Swingers

The Soloist

Ratatouille 

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