As an actor, Philip Barantini had to support himself through an uncertain career path and worked in restaurant kitchens for twelve years, starting at the bottom and working his way up to head chef. Boiling Point, adapted from his award-winning short of the same name, draws on Barantini’s real-life experiences, the wealth of diverse characters that pass through the hospitality industry, and the tensions and tough working conditions that all contribute to a ‘pressure-cooker’ environment.
Starring Stephen Graham (This is England, Line of Duty, Time) and shot in one continuous take, it is a visceral, warts-and-all look at the dark side of kitchen culture that might be the closest to reality that cinematic depiction can get. The film opens on ‘Magic Friday’, the last Friday before Christmas and traditionally the busiest night of the year for the hospitality trade. Andy Jones (Graham), Head Chef at one of the top restaurants in London, is battling debts, addiction and an imploding personal life. So when health and safety services unexpectedly show up for inspection, the pressure is on, and that’s before a well-known food critic takes a seat.
While the technical logistics, choreography and ensemble work needed to tell a story using one continuous take was already a challenge, Baranti’s production had its shooting schedule halved to just two days to complete filmmaking before the first lockdown hit. No wonder this story unfolds with an almost palpable urgency—gripping, terrific stuff.
Enjoy Boiling Point on the big screen at DCA Cinema, from Fri 14 – Thu 20 January