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The Chef is an intense psycho drama - with emphasis on psycho. It's not action packed and you have to give it some time and attention, but if you let yourself go with the ship's - and the movie's - pounding engine and claustrophobic atmosphere, you will be rewarded.
The movie gives you Martin Von Lindhé's perspective on his first journey as second cook on a cargo ship. The narrow universe the freighter provides gives the more experienced and high ranking crew members a great upper-hand on the two newcomers: Martin and Sundsvall. There are secrets, pasts, loves and hates to steer clear of, and the two teenagers soon get caught in a web they can't easily disentangle from.
The main characters are wonderfully played and I imagine that the actors have had great fun with their rather chewy roles. The chef himself is menacing, yet faceted, and both the teenagers and the other crew members follow up beautifully.
The telling of the story is not straight forward and the dialog is somewhat indirect, which adds to the claustrophobic setting, but also demands attention from the viewer. The events we see unfold continuously get lighted from new angles as we get more insight into the characters motivations. This rather quiet and convoluted drama could have been frustrating to watch if the story wasn't well rounded off: happily the ending gives a satisfying catharsis after all the suspense.
Don't bring popcorn, this film goes better with a small amount of expensive liquor.
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