Home Entertainment Movies Boiling Point

Boiling Point

39
Boiling Point

Stephen Graham plays a chef taken to the extreme in this impressive pressure cooker drama.

TProfessional cooking should lend itself well to the kind of sweaty frenzy popularized by the Safdie brothers, at least judging by the TV docusoap Kitchen Nightmares. To prove such a thesis, step into Philip Barantini’s second feature film, Boiling Point: shot in what appears to be a one-time take (yes, literally an uncut gem) through the evening service of a Dalston restaurant, in here’s one to make you sweat more than in a hurry butler.

Enter a haggard Stephen Graham, whose character, Andy, is once again having a scorching moment (is there anyone better, in the present moment, to play under everyone’s cosh). As a chef, he has that sort of sandpaper stubble that signals weariness, cracked hands, no doubt stinking of meat and salt. Arriving at work, he growls an apology over the phone to his son, having once again missed his swimming competition.

More shit builds up from here. Before service, an overzealous inspector (Thomas Coombes who, in the most complimentary terms, you’d like to slap your saliva) raises the restaurant’s health and safety rating from five to three; a racist idiot casually lashes out at one of the black waiters; in a moment of startling sensitivity, a young boy in the pastry section inadvertently reveals his self-harm scars; and with little warning, into the waltzes of celebrity chef Alastair Skye (Jason Flemyng) with food critic Sara Southworth (Lourdes Faberes) in tow.

Each table, it seems, is its own, variously designed little bombshell. It’s less about waiting to see which one blows first, more about which one will take the whole neighborhood.

Boiling Point - Light Home News

Formally, the film rarely lifts its foot on the gas. Matthew Lewis’s pocket camera is steeped in its own erratic and ever-increasing cadence. It dives and darts around tables and cooking stations like a pesky mosquito. We are sometimes given a moment or two to wring out our shirts, but like a kitchen porter with dishes always stacked to wash, repayments are rare.

Andy is our main orbit point, but it’s to Barantini’s credit that we have a good time with the larger ensemble, most of which have their own issues and issues. Aside from Graham, formidable as he is, Vignette Robinson stands out as Carly, Andy’s brilliant but besieged second-in-command about to leave the ship. In one of the film’s many eponymous explosive steam hissing moments, she gives her incompetent director the hairdryer treatment Alex Ferguson: a magmic torrent of rage that spurts from the gut and, once the lid is lifted, seems unstoppable.

With such a short runtime and a gargantuan pile of grievances, it must be said, adequate resolution seems more and more fleeting: everything is kept boiling until the end, with many small climaxing moments leading to a tense crescendo and a denouement that does not quite land. You have the impression, rare as it is, that it could have been done with more minutes. But, to paraphrase the smarmy Skye, that’s 95 percent of the way; I tasted good, much worse.

Reference of the Article-post – lwlies