02 January 2016

A Look at Chef

Jon Favreau's Chef is ultimately a documentation of an unbroken trajectory: After a celebrity chef, Carl Casper (Favreau), realizes that his true passion is to cook under his own direction, forgetting the influence of a restaurant owner (Dustin Hoffman), a food critic (Oliver Platt), or even his thousands of online followers, he strives, with his two companions, his sous-chef (John Leguizamo) and his son (Emjay Anthony), to both revolutionize his own passion for food and better spread to his nationwide fanbase a love for what he considers to be the most beautiful—albeit perishable—artform.

While minimal complications arise, such as his perpetual failures to be an active father in his son's life damaging their relationship, or even a confusingly prolonged yet awkwardly humorous interaction with a local police officer (Russell Peters), these are typically brushed away faster than the buttering process for a single cubano. In a way, the film is majoritally the falling action of its initial setup: Carl, desolated and jobless, looks for both personal satisfaction and steady income. Thus, Chef, in all of its glory, is less a story of triumphing over conflict and more of following and ruminating in racing emotions, interpersonal changes, and physical movement.
The tastiest part about this film, though, is its music: the soundtrack, composed of varieties of jazz and blues, dependant upon the present location of the truck, never ceases to fuel engagement, excitement, and suspense, even with the slow-paced storyline embodying Chef. Indeed, nothing is more salivating than the insistent, quick-paced percussion riffs and harmonized trumpet melodies permeating nearly the entire storyline, only pausing to engender moments of sheer awe at otherwise only slightly alarming situations.

Altogether, Chef is as engaging as the cross-country food truck roadtrip it depicts, and, despite the predictability of its plodding plotline, anyone would be lucky to take shotgun in this 115-minute joyride.

Chef Carl Casper (Jon Favreau), his son (Emjay Anthony), and his ex-wife (Sofia Vergara) serve from their food truck to an enormous crowd of hungry locals.
Image Courtesy of Open Road Films

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