The Menu’s satire on culinary pretense, criticism, and class differences is given fresh meaning and relevance by its real-life origin. The Menu’s survival narrative appears to be driven by the tired “separated from society” premise. Stranger things happen with each dish on its main Menu, heightening the overall dread and raising the stakes of the cat-and-mouse game that develops between the villainous Chef Slowik and his affluent guests, played by Ralph Fiennes. The Menu features a serious core that emphasizes the problems of a deranged, aimless artist and its humorous take on the distorted excess of fine dining.
It is difficult to avoid concluding that The Menu’s plot uses tried-and-true survival horror clichés and incorporates them into its culinary tale due to its context. When concentrating on The Menu’s indictment of society, it’s simple to overlook its direct similarities to the actual world because of how lightly the plot treats its capitalism-fueled turmoil. However, The Menu deftly stresses the minute elements that make its imperfect characters likable to ensure that its reality is as obvious as its horror.
A Real Restaurant inspired the Horror Scene From The Menu.
The fact that The Menu is based on the genuine restaurant experience of screenwriter Will Tracy is not surprising, given the emotional connection that emerges in the film’s final moments. Tracy said in an interview (via Bon Appétit) that his experience at a high-end restaurant on a remote Norwegian island served as the basis for the script for The Menu. The screenwriter was claustrophobic during his first experience eating at a restaurant that used food as a plot device, just like Margot feels out of place among the aristocracy when Chef Julian uses food to make fun of them. He remember how, solely for a story, patrons at the restaurant were “being held, prisoner.”
How Being Based on Reality Improves the Movie: The Menu’s Setting
The second half of The Menu’s horror narrative would never have progressed beyond a formulaic game of tag if it had followed the same path as other generic survival thrillers. The weird relationship between Julian, his crew, the guests, and Margot holds The Menu together despite the terrors of being pursue by a murdering chef would still be amusing. The horror of The Menu is not in Chef Julian’s hidden agenda, which becomes increasingly obvious with each course. In actuality, it is in the mystery surrounding the chef’s past, his tales, his hidden room with a silver door, the guests’ ignorance, and Margot’s astute insight.
The Menu takes an objective look at all the dynamics in a restaurant setup. She portrays the truth behind their viewpoints on food and eating by taking inspiration from a real-life restaurant experience. It enables the film to realistically portray the murky power dynamics between service providers and their clients. By demonstrating how even their sense of entitlement, bitterness, and lack of self-awareness makes them organically human and representative of real people – especially in a volatile scenario – it also enhances the characters in The Menu.