“The kitchen” magazine | Kibwe Tavares, Daniel Kaluuya’s first film fails to produce the expected impact

LONDON, ENGLAND: Netflix’s latest release, “The Kitchen,” is a set of raw, rustic urban dystopia laced with emotional connections. The film effectively demonstrates how the working class is affected by urban dystopia.

Set in a dystopian version of London, Izi (Kane Robinson) is about to leave the squalor of The Kitchen for the opulence of the single-occupancy Buena Vida apartments. However, just before his impending move, he meets Benji (Jedaiah Bannerman).

Also Read: ‘The Kitchen’ Ending Explained: What Happens to Benji and Izi?

In an unexpected turn, Benji asks Izi a probing question about their relationship, asking if he is indeed her father.

Faced with the looming threat of jeopardizing his dream of moving into luxurious apartments, Izi attempts to reject and ignore Benji as best he can, creating tension that adds a layer of intrigue to the unfolding narrative.

“The Kitchen” offers a pragmatic experience, without major twists or unnecessary drama.

An image from “The Kitchen” (Getty Images)
A photo of “The Kitchen”

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Daniel Kaluuya and Kibwe Tavares show promise for a successful co-directing career, skillfully blending science fiction elements and social issues. Their staging effectively transports the audience into a dystopian setting, immersing them in its gritty atmosphere.

The film’s visual impact is pronounced, embracing a raw aesthetic through its rustic cinematography.

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The cinematography skillfully captures the stark contrast between the affluent upper echelons and the impoverished slums, serving as a poignant reminder of the class differences at the heart of the story.

Although the science fiction is secondary to the storyline, it piques your curiosity and makes it entertaining and interesting for your time. There are subtle but effective integrations of sci-fi elements in the film, such as The Kitchen building, which is equipped with technology where messages and other notifications are displayed on mirrors.

“The Kitchen” is a straightforward experience, with no major twists or drama. The slum, as a key motif, is ideal for depicting the problems of the working class.

While the focus on dystopian worlds with social themes isn’t groundbreaking, the execution could have elevated the film. Ultimately, it offers a simple, mundane experience.

Jedaiah Bannerman shines as the curious Benji

A photo from “The Kitchen” (Getty Images)
A photo of “The Kitchen”

Nonetheless, “The Kitchen” has a flavor all its own, imbued with deep emotional resonance. The performance of the cast surely deserves recognition. Robinson’s performance is further enhanced by his eloquent eyes.

Jedaiah Bannerman’s portrayal of the curious Benji is a great launching pad for the teen actor.

Former footballer Ian Wright essayed the role of estate DJ Lord Kitchen, a small but impactful portrayal. As the leader of the vigilante group, Hope Ikpoku Jr shines brightly.

Of course, the music also gets points for its grounded, Afrobeat-infused composition, which highlights the heart of the narrative.

Although expectations were high at first glance, they fell short.

By the end of the movie you want more. For example, what will Staples and his team do next? How will the relationship between Benji and Izi evolve in the future? What action will the government take next to put an end to the rebel group? So much has not been said.

To sum up, Kibwe Tavares and Daniel Kaluuya’s promising debut film is slow and simply fails to deliver the expected impact.

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