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A Literal Eat-The-Rich Revenge: The Menu’s delicious retribution

The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Nottingham chapter.

The Menu film is a stunning work of art, thrilling and tense yet also comedic and delectable; ultra-wealthy patrons are murdered because of food. Sounds strange, right? Food in this movie symbolises everything: lack of humanity, hunger, beauty, and revenge. The menu dictates each customer’s soul, ensuring that the rich are punished – but the workers are also harmed. Why? Here’s a brief summary.

The film takes place on a luxurious island, home of the legendary Chef Slowik. An assortment of people travel across waters to gorge on his multi-course dinners, including our main protagonist, Margot, and her date, Tyler. Tyler thinks of himself as a culinary expert, whereas Margot is scarcely fascinated by the restaurant. Other customers include an obnoxious food critic and a wealthy older couple. The movie is orchestrated in a satisfying, chronological order, following each part of a menu: the starter, the first course, the second course, the third course, and more. Gradually, an air of bizarreness seeps through the atmosphere, alarming each customer as the dishes grow stranger. The Mess, for example, starts off with Slowik’s sous chef shooting himself after declaring his inferiority, and then the guests are served a rather ominous meal which includes bone marrow. A tame movie now transforms into a horror.

What is poignant about The Menu is its supposed ‘antagonist’, Chef Slowik. From his calm, pleasant demeanour to his lack of empathy upon seeing his guest be hurt or perish, we as an audience question his motives. Is revenge really best-served cold, or is it better to serve it on a bloody, gruesome platter? For Slowik, the answer is the latter: these vapid, rich people have lost their souls and must pay for it. Each one has wronged him, either through criticism or financial betrayal, and thus each one must die. Yet Margot, our main character, stands out. He does not know her. She is clearly not a grossly affluent patron of his. Throughout the dinner, Slowik questions her, stating that she does not belong there. We may initially think it is because of her money, but in reality: she has done nothing to him. The two also share a commonality, as they both grew up less privileged. They have fought to survive in the capitalist world. 

I particularly enjoyed how Slowik chose to free Margot from his devious, fiery plan, simply because it displays that there is still some humanity left in him. He has not completely succumbed to the rich. The ending of The Menu is visually brilliant. Margot munches on her burger, a motif of normality, of lack of lavishness, whilst Slowik sets fire to his island. Everyone dies. Even his staff, despite that they may very well be poor, or at least not as rich as his guests. Such a sacrifice is significant. 

The Menu excels in showcasing the eat-the-rich theme. It excels in warning the audience that they may very well lose their lives, literally or metaphorically, if they allow money to destroy their values. 

Bethan Beddow

Nottingham '24

Hi, I'm Bethan and I study English with Creative Writing BA! I adore blog writing, specifically on matters that surround women and femininity, as well as other forms of creative writing such as creating poetry. As a typical English student, my room is brimming with hundreds of books – fantasy and romance are my top genres – and so in my free time I'm usually engrossed in one or two novels.