Sunday, June 28, 2009
The Cook, the Thief, his Wife and her Lover
Last night instead of going out, I opt to stay in and I'm glad I did. A movie I haven't seen in years was on. The Cook, the Thief, his Wife and her Lover was on late on the public channel. Have any of you seen it before. It's been years for me. I had forgotten how graphic it was. It is not for the weak of heart for it is a bit gruesome, but at the same time it is lavish,extravagant and opulent. Here is the jist of the movie.
English gangster Albert Spica has taken over the high class La Hollandais Restaurant, run by French chef Richard Borst. Albert makes nightly appearances with his gang of thugs and hangar-ons, and drags his high class wife Georgina, played by the talented Helen Mirrin along with him. His oafish behavior causes confrontations with the staff, the cook, and other customers. At another table sits the lover, Michael, played by the handsome and ripped Alan Howard. A book sits propped up so he can read while he eats. Then one night he catches the eye of the thief's wife, Georgina, and within seconds are making love passionately in the ladies room. Night after night the charade goes on- the thief acting monstrously, the cook humiliated, the wife and lover with the help of the staff, having sex everywhere from the toilet, the kitchen, the meat room, the refrigerator, anywhere that it is sufficiently uncomfortable. The director Peter Greenway does some wonderful effects here. He gives a tingle to these scenes by using different color schemes for every room, red for the dinning room, white for the ladies room, blue for the patio and also having the color of the character's costumes change as they walk from one room to another. So everything in a scene is one color. Ultimately, Albert learns of the affair, forcing Georgina to hide out at Michael's bookshop. Albert learns finally where the location is and with his right hand man Mitchell played by Tim Roth, storm the bookshop and torture him to death by force feeding him pages from his own books. Georgina discovers the page stuffed body. Overcome by rage, she begs the Cook, Borst, to cook Michael's body, which he eventually complies. Together with all the people Spica wronged, Georgina confronts him and forces him to eat- his favorite pass time. She forces him to eat Michael's body and he starts gagging. She pulls out a gun and shoots him in the head! The end.
A strange movie, but entertaining. Helen Mirrin, as always, pleases.
Her performance is wonderful and almost scary, as her character transforms from submissive wife, to daring lover, to a revenge seeker at the end. The movie had Jean-Paul Gaultier design the costumes and Michael Nyman Band wrote the score which is wonderful. When the movie was out in theaters, the MPAA gave Miramax the choice- have a X rating or have it go unrated. They chose no rating because they didn't want it to be in a class with porn movies. It's definitely a interesting movie!