By Derrick Ernst
Director: John Wells │Running Time: 101 minutes │Rated: R (Restricted) │Genre: Drama, Comedy, Satire │Notable Cast: Bradley Cooper, Sienna Miller, Omar Sy
“I don’t want my restaurant to be a place where people sit and eat. I want people to sit at the table and be sick with longing.” – Adam Jones (Bradley Cooper)
The beauty of cinematography is that there are films that when viewed they seemingly have an immediate impact on your life. Whether being a fictional story serving purpose or a documentary displaying the overcoming of adversity, influence can be achieved through many forms. Not only does Burnt accomplish this feat, but moviegoers are left inspired to expand their culinary skills, in an attempt to mimic French cuisine. For sake of the movie going experience, viewers should not read much into the title. Burnt does not resemble an intolerable smell, but instead an alluring aroma.
The film follows the life of once exemplary chef, Adam Jones (Bradley Cooper), as he attempts to reintegrate himself back into the world of fine cuisine. Succeeding his falling-out with various narcotics, and ultimately corrupting relationships with others, Adam forces himself into rehabilitation in an unimaginable way. As time progresses, Adam is in a search to find inimitable techniques in how one surrenders themselves to food. Finally settling as the head chef at an eatery within a prestigious hotel and assembling a prospective team lacking hell-fire experience, Langhams is at last on the right path in obtaining the luxurious third Michelin star.
Filmed in London, England, and for a short period of time in New Orleans, Louisiana, the scenery that makes up the outer world, beyond that of the kitchen, is unparalleled from your typical indie film. Capturing everything the town has to offer—dynamic lighting, lively color pigments, and charismatic crowded environments—creates the feeling as though you may be walking along the brick streets of Paris, referring to such surroundings as “home.”
To make matters even more appealing is what takes places within the confines of the kitchen. John Wells (Director) stressed the importance of capturing the natural beauty of food, both in its innate state, as well as being transformed into singular masterpieces. On top of this, it is not only the end product that has one craving, but the non-verbal (cooking) sequences that take place as such are being constructed for review which do not go unnoticed.
Overall, Burnt brings to the big screen a profession few dare to challenge. For the sake of argument, the lack of variability that revolves around such subject limits extensive storyline manipulations. Despite this notion, Burnt possesses an exceptional cast and does a remarkable job staying true in form, without deviating for the sake of cinematic appeal. Displaying passion and true grit, Bradley Cooper soared as a headliner for a film that had limited worldwide exposure. Although the film’s intended audience may be directed toward culinary gurus, Burnt is a satisfying complimentary film for a night out and one that lays the ground work for a simple and relaxing evening.