Boiling Point REVIEW: Stephen Graham is excellent as rising star chef

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Shot in one dizzying 90-minute take, the film plunges us into the heat of battle as rising star chef Andy (Stephen Graham) faces what, for him at least, feels like a series of life-or-death encounters. Writer/director Philip Barantini cleverly puts the tension on a low simmer, starting with a testy encounter during a surprise visit from a hygiene inspector.

As Andy sips manically, and slightly suspiciously, on what appears to be a water bottle, his problems pile up.

Andy isn’t a shouter like Gordon Ramsay but he’s trying to keep a tight lid on unresolved issues at home and at work. 

His problems are compounded by a manager in thrall to social media influencers, a visit from a restaurant critic, arguments with staff, and an ultimatum from Jason Flemyng’s smarmy TV chef.

At times, it feels a little contrived and you may wish Barantini had cooked up a few darkly comedic moments to puncture the tension.

But a brilliant Graham stops it coming off the boil. His tightly coiled turn reminded me of his role in Shane Meadows’ excellent TV drama The Virtues. 

But, this time, there’s no place to hide. Graham is falling apart in real time and it’s impossible to look away.

In cinemas now

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