Nutshell Ramble

An entertaining Michael Keaton performance drives a competently made film with the lesser-known story about the world’s largest fast food chain.

OVERALL SCORE – 3.75/5

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Full Ramble

The Founder is a 2017 business-drama film directed by John Lee Hancock, written by Robert Seigel and stars Michael Keaton, Laura Dern, John Carroll Lynch, Nick Offerman, Linda Cardellini and Patrick Wilson. The story of how McDonald’s came under the control of one Ray Kroc is what the film portrays.

The easiest winner coming out of the film is Michael Keaton. He is electric and entertaining to watch. He can take his place with the best movie businessman which include Mark Zuckerberg, Gordon Gekko, Daniel Plainview and many others. The amount of painstaking work Keaton put into his character ticks and mannerisms are there for all to see, even if there is a slight inconsistency with his voice and accent. John Carroll Lynch and Nick Offerman are just as good as they have ever been as the brothers McDonald. They act as the only voice of reason and goodness in a dog-eat-dog world that is passing them by at a pace they can’t keep up with.

Shout out to Nick Offerman’s mustache which is M.I.A. in this film. He is just not the same without it.

The dialogues given to these three men are hilariously entertaining with pitch-perfect chemistry between them and a film about these three men and them alone would have made for an exceptional watch. The film falls off its ultra-fast pace when it tries to go into Ray Kroc’s home life. The film deflates and gets tedious at best. There is a reason to go into his personal life as it provides motivations for some of his actions but it could have been made more entertaining. The reason I say that is because of how a lot of expository scenes are handled in the film. The exposition does not feel tacked on. The filmmakers go for a visual style as they do their exposition and it enriches the experience. There a few plot holes throughout the film which I assume were intentionally put in to keep the good Mcdonald’s name safe and marketable.

The final opinion of Ray Kroc as presented in the film can be made as such. There is a strong case that can be made when one says Ray Kroc comes off looking like a total douche when the end credits roll. But from my end of things, I see a lonely man who has traversed the world of business and is at the end of his wits. It is fly or fall situation for him and he had to do all that he needed to, to succeed. He could not take half measures anymore. The film also shows his loyalty to his closest aides even if he did throw the McDonald brothers under the bus. This paints a portrait of a complex man and is quite enjoyable to watch.

Even with the sometimes clunky pacing and John Lee Hancock’s saccharin style of direction pulling the film a certain way, the performances and the story at large make the film an above average one. It is definitely not The Social Network or Glengarry Glen Ross but it tries its best to be a part of that elite club.

OVERALL SCORE – 3.75/5

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