Have You Watched The Menu (2022)?

Have You Watched The Menu (2022)?

Loading

Clips from the film kept showing up on my Instagram feed lately, and I decided to finally give it a watch. You probably have had experiences of this, too — some random clips on the FYP page (either on TikTok, Instagram Reels, or YouTube Shorts) showcasing some of the intriguing parts of the movie. I saw clips of Cruella (2021), The Help (2011), and The Menu (2022).

The Menu (2022) is a thriller/horror film starring Ralph Fiennes as the enigmatic Chef Slowik and Anya Taylor-Joy as the main character — Margot — which has received mixed reviews, praised for its originality and performances but criticized for its heavy-handed messaging. It’s definitely not intended for children, or casual movie enjoyers who would prefer light-hearted films. But it’s not going to please those who are looking for gore or extreme violence either. It’s somewhere in between.

Initially, I thought this movie was all about a selection of cooks trying their best to impress highly influential (or rich) people with their cooking skills. It turns out it’s entirely a different plot altogether. There are two things that I want to write: who is Margot? And what exactly is Chef Slowik’s motive?

(Warning: This review contains major spoilers for the film “The Menu.” Proceed with caution if you haven’t seen the movie yet. In this review, I’ll be diving into the plot and discussing specific scenes that are still up for debate.)

Who is Margot?

Have You Watched The Menu (2022)?
Margot is the only unexpected guest in Hawthorne (Image credit: IMDB)

From the beginning of the movie to the very end, we don’t really know who she is. All that we know from watching the film is that she was an escort for Tyler for an exclusive dinner at a private island called S’more Extravaganza. As the film progresses, more mysteries and interpretations surface.

Her name isn’t Margot after all.

There’s a scene after she stormed off to the bathroom after the tortilla incident (I believe it was after the third course, “Memory”). Here, Chef Slowik followed her shortly after she went there, asking her about the untouched food since the first course, calling her bluff as a ‘Margot’ and recalling that he once “used her services” as an ‘Erin’, but she never confirmed it.

She did mention, though, while they were sitting together for the sixth course called “Man’s Folly” that her name was Erin, but it was quickly brushed off. Maybe it’s because everyone had other things on their mind (which was probably about their inevitable deaths).

There are multiple theories to this. Erin, or Margot, could be a service worker. The Chef had once “used her services”, and Richard (one of the diners) apparently knew her, too. But he never admitted it when the subject was approached by his wife, Anne, especially after the printed image of an encounter between Richard and Erin on his customised tortilla on the third course.

Have You Watched The Menu (2022)?
Printed image of Richard and Erin on his tortilla (screenshot credit: YouTube)

It’s not explicitly mentioned, but it is a possibility. Her meetups with some of the diners and the Chef himself, as well as the suggestion by Chef Slowik mentioning his share of experience with Erin in the service industry, hint to us that Erin is not among the rich, and works to serve people. It’s no wonder that she hides her profession, too, considering that it’s an ill profession that is not regarded highly. But it’s merely a theory.

What’s not clear is how Tyler, the person Erin was accompanying, found her. It could be the reason her supposed dining date (his actual girlfriend) broke up with him before hiring Erin as an escort. That, or Tyler’s self-centred behaviour, seeing how he was the only person who knew about The Menu that involved everyone dying but kept quiet about it just to ‘simp’ over the Chef. Tyler’s treatment towards Erin as the courses were being served is also a hint showing how he treats service workers, too, so that’s that.

What’s Chef Slowik’s Motive in Killing Everyone?

Have You Watched The Menu (2022)?
Chef Slowik whispered the ‘simp’ Tyler to probably off himself after exposing him of his act (image credit: IMDB).

In the ultimate menu, the idea of the last course, “S’mores”, was proposed by one of the cooks under Chef Slowik. It’s basically a big marshmallow that includes both the cooks and the diners as the ingredients. They were all toasted.

But each of the courses in The Menu transforms into a subversive performance, with each dish a carefully constructed jab at the hypocrisy and privilege of the affluent diners. He called out each and every diner in Hawthorn for their secrets, from the most trivial of things like not putting in effort in their crafts for the sake of a quick cash grab to a more scandalous crime like tax fraud in business exchanges. Each of the diners was somehow tied to the Chef himself (except for Erin, who was an unexpected guest).

 Truth is, Chef Slowik has lost his passion for cooking.

The Chef spent his life trying to perfect his culinary skills, and yet none of the rich ever appreciated his dishes once. It’s even shown where Lillian, one of the diners there, criticised his second course (the breadless bread) when she saw one of the sauces, the emulsion, was “slightly split” and broken, which was not to be expected from an exclusive restaurant such as Hawthorne. Something trivial, but the diners only see and judge the food nevertheless, regardless of whether the food was made with love. It’s one of the reasons why the Chef had lost his passion for serving people.

Have You Watched The Menu (2022)?
Breadless bread course (screenshot credit: YouTube).

He threw shades at her, too, by serving her a plate full of broken emulsion as a house speciality. Really, the Chef definitely heard her critique, and that was basically an “F you” to Lillian. The whole course itself was a big middle finger to the diners there, but they still played it off as a unique delicacy by the Chef himself, unaware of his plan except for Erin.

He was practically sick of the rich, claiming that they knew better. The food critics from Lillian and his assistant caused multiple restaurants to shut down, the rich kids abused their influence and power if the restaurant staff mistreated them, and the know-it-all foodie like Tyler thought they knew everything about cooking based on theories alone. Even the regulars like Richard and Anne did not recall a single meal that they had when they were served by Chef Slowik, proving that they had no appreciation for the effort the Chef had shown them.

The Chef clearly had a passion for serving people — just not the arrogant ones. When Erin called him out on his whole shtick and the courses were made with pure obsession and not with love, he didn’t outright deny it. Erin turned the tide when she finally requested the hamburger, igniting good memories of Chef Slowik’s past when he actually enjoyed serving food for the people. People who actually appreciated his cooking for the food, not the judges and food critics who only see the bad in everything.

Have You Watched The Menu (2022)?
The famous cheeseburger scene (screenshot credit: YouTube).

The genuine smile shown by Chef Slowik when Erin actually enjoyed the cheeseburger she ordered told the viewers that he, after who knew how long, finally found his lost passion in culinary. He again experienced what it was like to serve the people that appreciated what they were given. Erin even hinted pure appreciation for the cheeseburger she ordered too, before asking if she could take it to-go.

Have You Watched The Menu (2022)?
The genuine happiness shown by Chef Slowik indicated his passion for cooking for the people was re-ignited (screenshot credit: YouTube).

So, the answer is pretty simple: Chef Slowik had lost his initial purpose and passion in serving his cooking to the people because the rich thought they knew better. To answer to those who never once appreciated his culinary skills, The Menu was all about showing his grandest, most perfect culinary skills that he could possibly muster, aside from giving the most luxurious “F you” to the rich and the know-it-all. Admittedly, it was really grand, albeit killing people was a bit of a stretch. But the point was to hammer home the point that the rich would never appreciate anything ever given to them.

Verdict

Have You Watched The Menu (2022)?

It’s an interesting film for sure. It had its dark touches of humour here and there, and the plot was easy to follow. There are some mysteries I didn’t truly understand until I dug out for more info online, such as Margot’s background and Tyler’s motive for letting people die for the sake of experiencing the Chef’s exclusive menu.

I’d recommend watching it if you could spare an hour or two. If you do (or if you have), be sure to leave comments on what you think of the theories!

Author

  • Muhammad Hariz

    A ’00 Malaysian freelance writer for MugenMilano. Occasionally writes for fun; otherwise, going to the gym and playing video games would be the R&R for Hariz. Having a keen interest in the area of gaming and technology, Hariz’s written materials would mostly be tech-related and gaming news, particularly in adventure, horror, and fighting genre. Doesn’t stop him from writing other interesting topics, though, as long as it is worth checking out.

One thought on “Have You Watched The Menu (2022)?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *