The British Mark Mylod has been the director of several episodes of the HBO series “Game of Thrones” and “Succession”. Due to his work in the first of those mentioned, he says that he shared many visits to prestigious restaurants with the creators of the saga, David Benioff and DB Weiss. “They are true ‘foodies’, but I always felt deeply uncomfortable in those places”, says Mylod at an international round table in which El Comercio participated.
Mylod got the idea for “The Menu”, the most recent of his films, from those gastronomic experiences that are as refined as they are cumbersome. What is the tape about? From a luxurious restaurant located on a remote island and run by the enigmatic chef Julian Slowik (Ralph Fiennes), who organizes a tasting for a group of select guests (including the characters played by Anya Taylor-Joy and Nicholas Hoult), but with unexpected consequences.
It is a black comedy with macabre overtones, which satirizes the figure of contemporary chefs: a mixture of ‘rockstars’ and ruthless tyrants, who can hide some disturbing secrets among their recipes and ingredients. For Mylod, the “deification of chefs” is unprecedented and has to do with these times of “Chef’s Table”, the popular program that elevates culinary stars to the delight of hungry viewers.
Structured like a true menu, the film surprises dish by dish with revelations that come not only from the leading chef, but also from the group of diners, almost all members of an upper class that seeks to satisfy their palates, but who will end up facing an extreme experience in many senses.
“My approach to those upper classes is a bit more humane. Mylod assures when we ask him about his cruelty with this cream and cream of society. I like those types of characters, finding the context of their behavior, their vulnerability. Feel empathy for them and even protect them.
In this sense, Mylod recognizes a certain influence from a film like the notable “The Exterminating Angel” by Luis Buñuel, in which a group of aristocrats gathered at a social gathering are prevented from leaving it due to inexplicable circumstances. “In Buñuel’s film, the guests felt discomfort, their own fault. And I love that idea”, warns the director.
That is why in “The Menu” even the disposition of the characters is similar to that of “The Exterminating Angel”: a diverse group of figures that, enclosed within the four walls of Chef Slowik’s restaurant, move in a kind of choreography at once satirical, dramatic and macabre. The deployment of their movements and the game of cameras to capture actions, reactions and details is among the best of the film.
Even so, and as it happens with the acclaimed “Succession”, where the focus is also placed on wealthy, powerful and conceited beings, in the case of “El menú” the idea is to be able to move into the minds of those who have everything. -even the most exquisite food-, but they always want more. “I find it interesting to laugh at these types of people, says Mylod, but it is more fun to try to understand them, to understand why they are like that, what needs they have”. The table is served.
I have worked as a journalist for over 10 years and have written for various news outlets. I currently work as an author at 24 News Recorder, mostly covering entertainment news. I have a keen interest in the industry and enjoy writing about the latest news and gossip. I am also a member of the National Association of Journalists.