Movie review The Taste of Hunger (2022)
The opening scene is seductive, with Carsten creating a true work of culinary art under Maggi’s appreciative eye, so succulent and beautifully plated we can almost breathe in its aroma. Maggi eats it, complimenting it on the combination of all the necessary parts, but suggests it might be better presented unassembled, to allow customers to combine the parts themselves. She also has an idea for the lighting, to make their new restaurant more elegant and romantic.
And then we get the Sweet chapter, a flashback to the night they met, when Carsten was throwing a party and Maggi was a guest wandering the kitchen. In these early scenes, the couple’s immediate and passionate connection is palpable, still evident today as one night in their restaurant they are about to enjoy a private and intimate moment when the only interruption they allow forces Carsten to rush to the kitchen. There is “a solo dinner”. They’re sure he’s the “secret” Michelin scout they’ve been waiting for, so everything has to be perfect.
But this is not the case. Something is wrong with their signature dish. Disaster! Without that Michelin star, the restaurant will fail and they will lose everything. Maggi flees into the night, promising to somehow find the mysterious solo restaurant, even though she has no idea who he is or where he is from, to get him to give a another chance.
Maggi has a second reason to panic. She intercepted a message to Carsten telling him that his wife loves someone else. We go back in time to the Sour chapter to find out the origin of its connection. This is where the recipe for “A Taste of Hunger” transitions from haute cuisine to just cooking. Most of the delightful details that made the early parts of the film so appealing are in the appetizers; the meal itself is less satisfying. As Maggi races desperately around Copenhagen to find the solo restaurant and the source of the message, we see more flashbacks, labeled Salt, Fat, and Heat. But the categories are less and less relevant and the revelations less and less enlightening. The passion for food, dream and each other that fueled the beginning of the story is less vibrant as the details are revealed.
Like the script, Coster-Waldau and Greis-Rosenthal are at their best in the first part of the film, as they are seen falling in love, opening the restaurant and, in the present day, as they are still deeply bonded to each other. the other. another, trying to make the most of scarce private minutes. But the later scenes never live up to the dynamism of the beginning. The level of conflict in the script doesn’t support the emotion it’s supposed to convey, and the flashbacks become jerky and distracting. Maggi’s deconstruction of Carsten’s dish works better for the restaurant than deconstructing the script for the film.
Showing in theaters and available on demand.