The Kitchen (2024) Movie Review – Another Netflix film that fails to make an impression

Another Netflix film that fails to make an impression

In The Kitchen, we see the world from the eyes of Izi, played by Kane Robinson (Sully in ‘Top Boy’), who resides in a precarious housing society called Kitchen.

The dystopian world this film is set in is far from ideal. It’s a place where you need to endure at least three hours of waiting in the morning just to use the bathroom.

Moreover, there’s a constant threat of police brutality; if you’re caught, you’ll either be thrashed or put behind bars, guilty or not. The living conditions are cramped, unsanitary, and far from healthy.

However, amidst these challenges, the society manages to unite like a large family whenever issues arise, thanks to their leader, Lord Kitchener. 

In this dystopian society, makeshift instruments like drums, buckets, and utensils become the tools for warning against the cops. The Kitchen is a place where life is constantly a survival challenge for its inhabitants.

Those living here don’t know when the next raid will hit or if they’ll make it through. Izi, weary of this existence, calls the Kitchen a ‘dumpyard’ and dreams of escaping to a better life.

Izi dreams of owning a luxury condo in Buena Vida. Throughout the film, we see Izy venting his frustration to the people around him, making clear that he’ll only save himself when the proverbial s**t starts to hit the fan.

Benzi, played by Jedaiah Bannerman, enters Izi’s life after losing his mother. Izi, who surprisingly happens to be Benzi’s mom’s ex, finds himself at a crossroads. Izi needs to pick one: Benzi or his dream for a better life. 

The chemistry between Jedaiah Bannerman and Kane Robinson is pretty spot-on. Whether it’s the emotional funeral scene or the heartstring-tugging “Are you my dad?” climactic moment, you can’t help but feel for this duo. Not to mention, Kane Robinson brings a mature performance to the table, playing the role of a father with genuine depth. 

The movie makes use of many futuristic tools, like an ecological funeral home that represents the concept of Life After Life.

While there are other elements that lend the film a futuristic touch, it’s not as mind-blowing as what you might see in Blade Runner or Cyberpunk. However, the underlying plot connects with our present-day reality. It suggests that even with advancements like moon travel, basic human qualities such as empathy and kinship would stay constant.

Izi finally reaches the Buena Vida, a place he’s always dreamed of—a utopia, a paradise. But it’s not the dream he thought it would be. Despite having everything, he feels alone, and guilty for abandoning Benzi, the boy who put his trust in him. 

The film isn’t just about Izi’s world; it’s a harsh reality for many people worldwide. There are people struggling in various countries, facing poverty, violence, and injustice, just like the members of that unfortunate Kitchen. Thus, the kitchen metaphor reflects the struggles of people striving for their basic needs. It’s raw, it’s real, and it hits home. Life’s not all sunshine and rainbows, especially when you’re fighting to survive every day. 

Even with remarkable world-building, the movie kind of drops the ball when it comes to the script. You’d think a one hour and forty-eight-minute runtime would pass on, but no— the pacing makes it feel longer. The actors perform well, and the technical aspects, like light and sound, get decent support. However, the overall entertainment factor is lacking due to some shortcomings in other departments.

The plot and world-building are top-notch, no doubt about it. However, the engaging factor didn’t quite match up to the promising story idea, causing the film to miss the mark in capturing the audience’s attention.

Despite an interesting premise, sitting through the movie feels like a bit of a challenge. In the critical space, it earns just an average verdict.

 

Read More: The Kitchen Ending Explained


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