|MOVIE DETAILS |
• Name: An Exquisite Meal
• Year: 2020
• Country: USA
• Director: Robert Bruce Carter
• Main cast: Mike Jimerson, Amrita Dhaliwal, Victoria Nugent, Ross Magyar, Bassam Abdelfattah, Emily Marso, Mark Pracht
• Runtime: 60 minutes
• Production company: Objay Dart Films, Unfurnished Films
Although it has some narrative elements of psychological thrillers, and as such it has been advertised, An Exquisite Meal (2020) is basically an acid comedy. Not the kind of comedies that search for an easy laugh from the audience, where there are plenty of slapstick situations or constant jokes, but more the kind of comedy where you find yourself laughing about the ironies of life, and how mediocre the humans that pretend to be more important than the rest eventually are shown as utter fools.
But I would neither call An Exquisite Meal (2020) a social criticism film, I don’t think the writer and director Robert Bruce Carter wanted to give us any moral lesson or speech, he just used a set of characters, a group of pretentious co-called friends acting to be so sophisticated but ending up being empty vessels more afraid of keeping their facade of success than of proving the merits they have achieved in their life. They fool themselves into having high cultural knowledge and exquisite tastes, but when they find a down-to-earth person with a normal job no matter how intelligent or valid that person is that one just gets excluded from the group.
That behavior is the central thread of the movie. The group of friends gets to be so superficial that all they care about is that exquisite meal the host has promised. Even when some bad events are happening all they can think about is the food. It doesn’t matter if lies and infidelities surface, or if someone might have been killed, the only thing they seem to have in mind, what their lives are depending on, is the fancy banquet.
The problem with the movie is that this is pretty much it. The story doesn’t get developed further than this. A few incognitas floating around the movie won’t be revealed, and one can feel like this all is nothing but a little prank. After watching An Exquisite Meal (2020) I had the feeling to have witnessed an exercise more than an actual feature film. And it was a good exercise, that’s true. It has some interesting moments, and despite being a movie holding the interest only with the few characters conversating in one location, it holds up the one hour of running time pretty well.
This is the first feature film from writer and director Robert Bruce Carter, but it feels more like a short film that has been stretched up longer. Inconclusive more in the sense of incompletion than in the feeding the audience with mysteries to finish the completion of the puzzle in our heads. An independent film that although it has some enjoyable performances by the actors, a catchy soundtrack, and unleashes a few smart situations, doesn’t have a final form set. Something is missing here. A few somethings, in fact.
IMDB URL: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt10867576