Enter the relentless pressure of a restaurant kitchen as a head chef wrangles his team on the busiest day of the year.
What must it be like to work in a popular restaurant on one of the busiest days of the year? That is the underlying premise for ‘Boiling Point’, an immersive and intense cinematic experience that recreates that environment for this movie. Filmed in one take that follows various characters as they go about their duties, it’s an incredibly stressful and nerve shredding watch that would put you off working in a kitchen for life. Stephen Graham heads up the cast as Andy, the head chef who is going through a nightmare of an evening, although one of the skills of ‘Boiling Point’ is to never be entirely clear if this is actually a nightmare or just a standard evening in this job. This is a technically superb movie with the ideal setting for its story and I was knackered by the end of watching it, but in a good way!
One take movies (or movies depicting a continuous shot to be more accurate) are not as original as they once were (‘1917’ the most prominent example), but they can still feel a little gimmicky if the underlying story or premise isn’t strong enough. I didn’t ever feel that was the case with ‘Boiling Point’, which crafts a believably stressful environment with realistic characters falling out and struggling to cope in ways that felt natural for the setting. Of course, there are contrived scenarios to ensure things go wrong to heighten the tension, but they’re well set up and played out well – it’s a remarkable spinning plates job (no pun intended!) from director Philip Barantini and I was utterly gripped throughout. That being said, I feel like this would have been just as engrossing a watch if it removed the contrivances and the shouting matches – as countless TV shows have proven, including one actually called ‘Gordon Ramsay’s Boiling Point’, restaurant kitchens are stressful places and that alone provides sufficient drama.
I was really impressed by the performances, not just from Stephen Graham who is almost always excellent, but from the rest of the cast who were perfect at depicting this environment with Vinette Robinson a standout as Carly. ‘Boiling Point’ is a terrific, well directed movie that superbly recreates the manic environment of a busy kitchen and I was a big fan.
Directed By: Philip Barantini
Starring: Stephen Graham, Vinette Robinson, Jason Flemyng, Alice Feetham, Hannah Waters, Malachi Kirby, Izuka Hoyle, Taz Skylar, Ray Panthaki, Lauryn Ajufo and Lourdes Faberes