COMEDY; 1hr 39min (German with subtitles)
STARRING: Adam Bousdoukos, Moritz Bleibtreu, Birol Ünel, Pheline Roggan
Cooking up a storm: from left, Ünel and Bousdoukos
For such a downer situation, this batty lark is endearingly chipper. That’s because its leading player, Greek restaurateur Zinos (Bousdoukos), is the low-maintenance type of guy for whom life can never be too dire — even though it is. For instance: Zinos’s girlfriend, Nadine (Roggan), has relocated to Shanghai; he has slipped a disc, can’t work and is in constant pain; his ne’er-do-well brother Illias (Bliebtreu) is hanging off his coat-tails; and the tax office and the health department are after him. Had enough? Not yet. His burgers-and-fries restaurant, Soul Kitchen, a boho warehouse space in strait-laced Hamburg, is Zinos’s pride and joy. But it has become a customer-free zone overnight thanks to the artsy work of progressive pepperpot replacement chef Shayne (Ünel).
The resilient Greek weathers these discouraging setbacks with the resolve of a stayer while still finding ample time to party. Co-written by Bousdoukos and director Fatih Akin, Soul Kitchen is that sunny, food- and music-spiced kind of movie. Down at times, maybe. But out? Not a chance!