Dive behind the scenes of a starred restaurant with The Chef, a feature film worn by actor Stephen Graham and a myriad of excellent actors and shot in sequence: a 5-star feat!
What is it about ?
“Magic Friday”: the Friday before Christmas, the busiest evening of the year. In a gourmet restaurant in London, on the kitchen side, a few minutes from the gunshot, the entire staff is in turmoil.
But problems are piling up around star chef Andy Jones and his team. Added to this is the constant pressure of an ever more demanding clientele that threatens to lead the restaurant to its downfall…
The Chef by Philip Barantini, with Stephen Graham, Vinette Robinson and Jason Flemyng.
The evening did not start well for Andy, he did not yet know that he was not at the end of his troubles… The Chef is the second feature film by the Briton Philip Barantini after the detective movie Villain. For the occasion, he adapted his eponymous short film, which presented the hellish evening of a starred chef over 22 minutes.
Stephen Graham, known for his roles as a gangster in The Irishman or Boardwalk Empire, masterfully interprets the torments of chef Andy Jones surrounded by a “brigade” of talented actors all devoted to the complicated task that is theirs: bringing a restaurant to life for 1h30 … without cutting.
Because it is one of the major interests of The Chef to succeed in immersing the spectators in the stress of a starred restaurant kitchen without any editing, in a single take: a technique called the sequence shot. Also, the film crew only had four days to shoot.
“We had to (…) do eight takes in total”, says Philip Barantini in the film’s press kit. “Except that we shot in March 2020, when the Covid exploded (…). After the first evening and the first two takes, I told myself that we had the film, but that we were still only there. at rehearsals.
“But that first evening, the producers came to explain to me that we already had a few departures from the team. They were replaced, but we had to stop filming earlier than planned, from the second evening, after the third and fourth takes!”
The film you are seeing therefore did not take four days to make, but only two! And in 1h30, he paints a portrait of a gallery of characters who seem to be flesh and blood, but also behind the scenes of a large restaurant, the pressure and stress accompanying his employees on a daily basis, especially when the chief is no longer the squad leader he is supposed to be.
The choice to show everything in a single take and “without net” is therefore not free and avoids being a flashy style effect: it serves the purpose and fits perfectly into the logic of the movie. One thing is certain: The Chef deserves to be seen in theaters and to get a taste of it, here is its trailer: