Yes, there were the occasional offerings like No Reservations and more recently, The Chef but in all fairness, there haven't been too many good food movies, surprisingly, making you wonder why no one has ever found drama behind the kitchens. Burnt, for that reason alone, is a good watch. Is it a great movie? No, miles from it. But, it definitely has all the right ingredients. Sure, the movie will not get Three Michelin Stars like its protagonist Adam Jones aspires for. Bradley Cooper's Adam finds himself in the kitchens of a famous chef at 19 and before he knows he gets name and fame (all told in flashback and not part of the story) only to throw it away on drugs and tantrums. Now he is back, with his old-fashioned methods trying to get Three Michelin Stars. Being as street smart as he is, he takes over The Langham with whose proprietor Tony (Daniel Bruhl), who is gay and in love with him, he has an interesting chemistry. He picks up his cooks like Danny Ocean did for one last heist and thus starts his struggle.
The movie is pretty and makes you hungry as you watch finely presented dishes and chefs in immaculate whites working away in posh kitchens. Subtle moments like Reece, Adam's biggest rival confessing how everyone needs Adam to lead the way, as far as breaking new ground in fine dining is concerned or the dynamics between Adam and his love interest Helene (Siena Miller) will grab your attention and keep you involved. The movie tries to lace a complex character in the world of cooking but where it lacks is the time that is needed to simmer characters and make them relatable. Yes, Adam is mercurial and is now clean and sober and is trying to change one bit at a time, dealing with drug dealers who are after him for money and backstabbing friends whose careers he had ruined. But, in the end there is too much on Bradley's shoulders and a little more intensity and character development could have helped.
It is a pretty movie that relies on too much subtlety and sudden jerky changes in pace which make the second half a little quickened and hashed. While it had lot of right elements, the movie couldn't make the jump from good to great because of the execution and treatment with too little time given to side characters!