Starring: Adam Bousdoukos, Moritz Bleibtreu and Birol Ünel
Runtime: 99 mins. Reviewed in Nov 2011
Fateh Akin is best known for his strong dramas concerning Germans and Turks, Head on and Edge of Heaven. He has also made a documentary on Turkish music. This time, while he has used his love for popular music, he has opted for a lighter story, with the touches of the comic, even of farce.
Soul Kitchen is the name of a restaurant in a run down area of Hamburg. It is popular with the locals who like the security of their burgers and chips. The owner is Zinos (Adam ), a Greek German. He has more than his share of problems, slipping a disk while trying to lift a washing machine (and, irritatingly, refusing to get medical or alternate medical help until rather late in the day). His girlfriend has accepted a reporter’s job in Shanghai – and he wants to join her there, Skyping in the meantime. His brother (Moritz Bleibtreu) is a burglar on day release from prison who wants a job but is allergic to work (he says he can go through the motions). Zinos employs a temperamental chef who does wonders with food but alienates the burger brigade. An old friend of Zinos covets his building and makes him offers that he hopes he won’t refuse. Musician friends use the restaurant for rehearsals.
This makes for quite a melting pot of plot lines, sometimes treated realistically, sometimes farcically (in a Germanic humour kind of way). German critics have pointed out that the original language is very strong and crass (but is much less in the subtitles).
Adam makes a sympathetic Zinos who has some ambitions in life but finds much to thwart him. However, if one perseveres, taking suspicious steps as well as genuine steps, who knows where it will lead?
Fateh Akin humorous, humane and light.
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