With Saif Ali Khan’s Chef out in theatres today, it’s little wonder we’re reminiscing the 2014 movie that inspired it. Jon Favreau’s Chef was sweet, smart and funny, even as it left audiences hungry with its tastefully shot food montages. The witty lines, great acting and delish food all combined to form one great movie, something we urge you catch up on before deciding if you really need to see the Hindi remake starring Saif Ali Khan. Here are just five reasons why you need to watch 2014’s Chef.
For Jon Favreau
You may not know Jon Favreau but he’s one of the most accomplished writer-directors out there. He directed the first two Iron Man movies and put the entire Marvel Comic Universe in motion (of which Spiderman: Homecoming was the latest release). To prepare for his role as a chef, Favreau trained under master chef Roy Choi who’s known for his food truck crew called Kogi. Favreau tried his food when Gwyneth Paltrow ordered Kogi’s food as Iron Man 2’s wrap party and the rest, as they say, is history.
For making food trucks legit
Choosing Choi was a master stroke as the Kogi line comprises food trucks that Favreau’s character Carl Casper sets out to explore after leaving his restaurant when a critic flays his food. Food trucks turn into the real hero of the movie as Casper moves across the US selling Cubanos and other delicious food items. It gets the ultimate thumbs-up when people recognise the food truck from afar and cause a cop (Russell Peters) to come inspect the scene before getting bowled over by the food.
For the beautifully told story
While Chef is about food, it is at its heart, a movie about a father reconnecting with his young son. Food, in fact, acts as a catalyst to ensure that Casper comes of age not just professionally after successfully turning a food truck business profitable, but also personally as he discovers his paternal side while teaching his son the tricks of the trade. The supporting cast of characters, led by Sofia Vergara as his ex-wife, Scarlett Johansson, Robert Downey Jr., Dustin Hoffman and Bobby Cannavale among others support Casper’s journey throughout the movie admirably.
For its excellent humour
Talking about food and relationships can only hold your attention for a while. Chef excels because it is peppered (no pun intended) with enough light-hearted scenes, super chemistry and jokes that elevate the screenplay so that the entire movie becomes breezy and entertaining for audiences to enjoy. Whether it is Casper’s attempts at educating himself about Twitter or his colleagues’ banter, the humour quotient is always cranked up to ensure complete entertainment.
For all the food porn
What’s a food movie without some enticing dishes, right? Some scenes from the movie seem deliberately shot to make you drool and suddenly feel hungry after looking at all the great food on screen. Fairly early in the movie, Casper’s character is established with a montage of food shots showing zucchini being cut masterfully, a pig being cut skillfully and herbs being minced with hands that have done this earlier. From here on, dishes being fed to Casper’s friends and family with great food set up the movie beautifully. By the end of it, you’ll feel like Scarlett Johansson’s character in the movie who simply can’t get enough of the dish Casper cooks for her.
(The author previously reviewed the movie here)