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The Kitchen

Opening Date
08 Aug 2019
NC16 Coarse Language and Violence
103 mins
English - subtitles to be advised
Action, Crime, Drama
Andrea Berloff
Melissa McCarthy, Elisabeth Moss, Tiffany Haddish, Margo Martindale, Domhnall Gleeson
“The Kitchen” stars Oscar nominee Melissa McCarthy (“Can You Ever Forgive Me?” “Bridesmaids”), Tiffany Haddish (“Girls Trip”), and Elisabeth Moss (“The Handmaid’s Tale”) as three 1978 Hell’s Kitchen housewives whose mobster husbands are sent to prison by the FBI.  Left with little but a sharp ax to grind, the ladies take the Irish mafia’s matters into their own hands—proving unexpectedly adept at everything from running the rackets to taking out the competition…literally.
By Flora  10 Aug 2019
Adapted from the comic novel, The Kitchen stars Melissa McCarthy, Tiffany Haddish and ElisabethMoss as three wallflower wives who step up to be mafia bosses. 
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Adapted from the comic novel, The Kitchen stars Melissa McCarthy, Tiffany Haddish and ElisabethMoss as three wallflower wives who step up to be mafia bosses. 

When their gangster husbands get caught red-handed and put behind bars for 2 years, Kathy (Melissa McCarthy), Ruby (Tiffany Haddish) and Claire (Elisabeth Moss) are forced to step up to take over their husbands’ jobs. For Kathy, losing her husband means losing a father of their 2 children, and the sole provider for the family. Whereas for Claire, seeing her abusive husband in jail means not getting beaten and hurt for the following months. Ruby, on the other hand doesn’t really care what happens to her husband and is determined to take what’s hers, no matter what it takes. 

Set in the 1970s of New York City, Kathy Ruby and Claire, turn to crime to make ends meet. At first, by getting businesses to pay for protection money, but soon are able to make deals with the Italian mob and hiring a cold-blooded assassin Gabriel (Domhnall Gleason) who teaches them the proper way to dissect a corpse. They quickly rise the ranks as the biggest mafia bosses, but the glory doesn’t last long when their husbands are to released months earlier than scheduled. 

The story jumps right in where we see the men getting arrested for their vice activities, and we are introduced to the treatment of the women at home. Once their husbands are out the picture, we see a change of these women - their dressing, their confidence and their ruthlessness. It is nice to see that the three actresses are taking charge in a mafia-action-thriller film like ‘The Kitchen’, but because of the choppy tones, the clunky dialogues, it is hard to go on a journey with each of them when their character turns and motivations are not laid out properly. 

Sure, the gunfights are always welcomed, but perhaps trading the guns for a pen to develop their individual stories and how these ladies help one another, will be better. As individual stories, we see their struggles and how these ladies hope to change with a sudden surge of dollars in their bank accounts, but their motivations are not explored further. It seemed like these ladies are only there for money and revenge to fuel their agenda, resulting in a very one-dimensional reason for it. It doesn’t help that the script kept emphasising on the ‘girl power’ by grumbling on the points of women staying at home to take care of the family and kids; listening to the men of what they can and cannot do. These points are echoed many times throughout that it feels pandering and forced.  The film only really picked up in the last 40 minutes of so, where the women fear for their lives when things go out of hand. 

The Kitchen stars a great female trio, but their star power and talent, sadly, won’t be strong enough to save the disjointed narrative.
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