The Kitchen (2019)

When I saw the opening credits for The Kitchen, I was surprised that it was a DC Comic. I’m not too familiar with the DC universe, so please, lightly judge.

The Kitchen takes places in 1970s Hell’s Kitchen, New York. It’s everything you think of when you hear old-school New York: dingy, rough and tough vibe, mafia running the ethnic neighborhoods, less crowded, heavy accents. We open to the arrest of three men by the FBI. They are convicted and sentenced to jail, their wives mostly crushed. These wives – Kathy, Ruby, and Claire – are now the breadwinners and need to find a way to support the family immediately. Unfortunately, it’s the 1970s and the employment office aren’t necessarily keen on helping housewives. And neither is the mafia that employed their husbands.

The women take matter into their own hands by creating their own mafia. It becomes a battle between brains and brawn as they fight with the men (and Ruby’s mother-in-law) to take control of the neighborhood. And they do. With flying colors. Things turn dark when Claire becomes a Class-A killer, Ruby starts her own underground life, and the FBI gets involved (again).

The film is thrilling to me, as I am a sucker for a mafia movie. When I heard Melissa McCarthy and Tiffany Haddish, I thought this was a dark comedy. I was pleasantly wrong. Tiffany is intense and pray that she will do more dramas in the future. She’s great as a comedian but this gave her another layer, another dimension, to herself as an actor.

What I enjoyed most about the film was the fact they did not go over-the-top, in-your-face regarding the female leads. It was a female empowerment film, but given the context – 1970s New York City ruled by the mobs in survival mode – it felt, I don’t know, more genuine.

What did y’all think? Liked? Loved? Disliked? Comment below!

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