Exploring "The Kitchen": A Cinematic Debut by Daniel Kaluuya

British actor Daniel Kaluuya makes his directorial debut with "The Kitchen," In my opinion this was a great intro to show his “eye” and captivating storytelling. This film was written and directed by Daniel. 

  1. Visual Aesthetics: The film's visual composition is striking, with a deliberate and aesthetically pleasing approach. Kaluuya's  emphasis on scenic beauty create moments of photographic excellence, allowing viewers to immerse themselves in the emptiness and subtle nuances of the narrative. I love the way this movie was shot. Very aesthetic pleasing and felt very intentional. I can tell if a movie is going to be good by the establishing shot, and this movie was good. Sometimes it was just the scenery that was the scene and I loved it. As a photographer, I wanted to screenshot the entire movie, there were so many photographic moments. We got to feel alot of the scenes in the emptiness. Not so much dialogue and sorta slow in the beginning but it was pretty good. Majority of the film is shot from behind someone, as if we were following the characters, maybe its Daniels signature.

  2. Themes and Message: Great movies always have a great meaning and lesson to be learned "The Kitchen" dives into societal issues, presenting a future point of view of the hood as a vibrant community struggling with rising house prices and the erosion of social welfare. The film underscores the importance of human connection and mutual support in the face of individualistic struggles. The story line was a reminder that we often focus on ourselves and getting to the hustle. But God has a funny way to connect you with people. We really need each other to survive.

  3. Stellar Cast: Kaluuya assembled a talented cast, including Kane Brett Robinson, known for his role in "Top Boy." Robinson's portrayal of a different character in "The Kitchen" showcases his versatility and ability to captivate audiences, transcending previous perception. I never thought I would be on his side when I first saw him in my screen again after Top Boy. But mid way through the Kitchen I was cheering him on. 

  4. Symbolism and Characterization: Although I loved the performance Robinson did. My favorite character was the Lord Kitchener.  He kept the vibes up and stuck. I felt like his character was very intentional, from his character name and even down to his demeanor, he was a very important symbolic figure, embodying the essence of community leadership and guidance. His role as "The Lord" to me signified a spiritual connection, offering words of encouragement and wisdom amidst the challenges faced by the community. To me it represented how GOD would check in everyday. He was great vibes. I loved getting the word of encouragement from the Lord. He said this one line that resonated with me. “They cant stop we. They can only stop we, if we see WE as I.

  5. Fashion and Style: The film's streetwear wardrobe adds another layer of authenticity and inspiration, reflecting the characters' personalities and the vibrant culture of the community.

  6. Narrative Structure and ImpactIt is a beautiful movie. It showed us how even when things are bad, we have each other. I loved how much beauty they showed, even though they weren’t rich; they enjoyed life and felt rich to enjoy it. It felt more like the first two episodes of a series. I was definitely waiting for more. Also loved how it ended shockingly because at first, I wanted more and felt like I got played, but then leaving us in that black moment waiting, it sat with me right away like this was good. It made me have to go watch it again to really pay attention. The second viewing made me feel it much more. There isn’t a lot of dialogue; it's more about body language, emotions, and understanding the characters with little information. That's probably why it felt like episodes. It felt more so like we just got introduced to a world and  I would definitely watch The Kitchen 2 to see what happened to the characters in The Kitchen next.

  7. Favorite Line: "I'm not even criticizing; I'm happy to be here."This statement captures a mindset characterized by gratitude and optimism in the face of potential difficulties or deficiencies. It embodies an outlook that values the present moment and acknowledges circumstances, highlighting the significance of finding happiness and satisfaction in all situations. This mindset strikes a chord with me as it reinforces the importance of accentuating the positives, seizing opportunities for personal development, and approaching life with a hopeful and appreciative perspective. 

    In "The Kitchen," Daniel Kaluuya showcases his talents as a director, providing a compelling examination of community, resilience, and human connection. Through its visually stunning aesthetics, profound themes, and outstanding performances, "The Kitchen" leaves a profound impression and lays the groundwork for forthcoming cinematic ventures from its gifted creator.