Friday, April 14, 2023

Hunger (2023)

Streaming Service: Netflix
Movie Name/Year: Hunger (2023) 
Genre: Drama, Thriller
Length:  2h 26min
Rating: TV-MA
Production/Distribution: Netflix, Song Sound Production
Director: Sitisiri Mongkolsiri
Writer: Kongdej Jaturanrasamee
Actors: Chutimon Chuengcharoensukying, Kenneth Won, Nopachai Chaiyanam,
Gunn Svasti Na Ayudhya, Bhumibhat Thavornsiri
IMDb Blurb: A woman running her family's noodle restaurant receives an invitation to join the fine-dining industry under the tutelage of an infamous chef.
Cat’s Point of View:
Hunger caught my attention while we were looking through trailers for movies releasing in April. I tend to watch a lot of culinary shows. I like a wide variety from productions such as Chopped (2007-) and MasterChef USA (2010-) to the seasonal baking competitions and the like. They tend to blend education and entertainment for me, making them some of my current favorites. 

The point I’m getting to is that the dictatorial chef in Hunger struck me as a fictionalized Thai version of Gordon Ramsay’s (Hell's Kitchen, Gordon Ramsay: Uncharted, Next Level Chef) hard-line persona. While Hunger wasn’t a comedy at all, that internal comparison I couldn’t help making with that first impression made me giggle a little and certainly whet my palate for wanting to watch this movie. 

I’ve seen a lot of comparisons between Hunger and The Menu (2022). While I have to agree that there’s a level of similar social commentary between the two films, it’s not quite in the same ballpark. Hunger did have an undercurrent of darkness in it, but it came from a more psychological standpoint and a look at what becomes of the choices made on the protagonist’s journey to join the ranks of top echelon chefs. Hunger explored the sacrifice of self in order to fit a mold while also taking a harsh glance at class disparity and personal moral compass. 

Hunger took the story to some places I didn’t expect, while playing out generally how I anticipated it would. It might be more of a thrilling and shocking experience for those not that familiar with the culinary world and the level of sacrifice its professionals make in their personal lives. 

The set pieces were well done and there were some outright gorgeous moments of cinematography. The story and cast delivered some real gut-punch moments within this solidly acted production. 

I don’t really have any negatives to offer regarding Hunger, and yet - apropos to the titular theme of the movie - somehow it still left me wanting a little more. 
Rotten Tomatoes Critic Score – 78%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience Score – 62%
Metascore – none
Metacritic User Score – none
IMDB Score – 6.8/10
Trust the Dice: Cat’s Rating – 3.5/5

Movie Trailer:

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