REVIEW: Stephen Graham is a rising star chef who excels in Boiling Point.
This well-acted low-budget British film tries to do for a posh London restaurant what Sam Mendes’ 1917 did for the trenches of WWI.
The film, which was shot in one dizzying 90-minute take, immerses us in the heat of battle as rising star chef Andy (Stephen Graham) faces what appears to be a series of life-or-death encounters.
Starting with a tense encounter during a surprise visit from a hygiene inspector, writer-director Philip Barantini cleverly keeps the tension on a low simmer.
Andy’s problems pile up as he sips manically and suspiciously on what appears to be a water bottle.
Andy isn’t as outspoken as Gordon Ramsay, but he tries to keep unresolved issues at home and at work under wraps.
A social media-obsessed manager, a restaurant critic’s visit, staff squabbles, and an ultimatum from Jason Flemyng’s smarmy TV chef all add to his problems.
It’s a little contrived at times, and you’ll wish Barantini had thrown in a few darkly comic scenes to break up the tension.
Graham, on the other hand, prevents it from boiling over.
His tense performance reminded me of Shane Meadows’ excellent television drama The Virtues.
This time, however, there’s nowhere to hide.
Graham is disintegrating in front of our eyes, and we can’t take our eyes off him.