If there’s a hot guy willing to offer you an explosion of tastes and multiple culinary orgasms that would send you to heaven, you’ll probably not consider any double takes and second thoughts. It’s a yes right in that moment.
After all, who wouldn’t give Bradley Cooper a second chance?
Adam Jones (Bradley Cooper) is a brilliant-but-troubled chef who came back looking to get his shot at redemption after a meltdown in his career as a two-star Michelin chef in Paris, due to drug and alcohol abuse.
He was cleaned after going into therapy and punishing himself by discarding one million oyster shells in New Orleans. Now, his goal is to establish his own fine dining restaurant to finally earn his third Michelin star.
As the highly talented and self-destructive white male protagonist that he is, Adam went to London to reunite with his confidants and to create a team of kitchen geniuses. One of them was hotel restaurant maître d’ Tony (Daniel Brühl) who shares a past with him.
Tony then financed Adam’s restaurant which was meant to compete with Reece (Matthew Rhys) who was a former friend and another talented chef who is a master of French gastronomy. Adam, on the other hand, was known for his old-fashioned Parisian method in the cookery.
He was joined by Michel (Omar Sy) a frenemy whom he trusted the second time around; Max (Riccardo Scamarcio) an ex-convict and another gifted chef; David (Sam Keeley), a young promising chef; and of course, the single mother Helene (Sienna Miller) who served as the sous chef.
While he was struggling to rebuild his career, a group of drug syndicate was set to hunt him down and clear him of his debts. As if saved by a beautiful angel, his former girlfriend Anne Marie reappeared in his life but only as a friend who later on paid his debts to the syndicate.
Slowly, Adam recovered from all the past troubles that have haunted him, especially with the help of his therapist Dr. Rosshilde (Emma Thompson).
Since it’s been a year when Burnt was shown in cinemas, let’s take a look back at the food porn we have witnessed starring the talented performer (oops, I meant, chef), Adam Jones—who was somehow portrayed as the kitchen devil, Gordon Ramsay.
Aside from swear words that have consistently come out from Adam’s foul mouth, this movie was filled with ECUs (extreme close-up shots) or tight shots at the very least, which is a must for capturing the essence of the dishes they served. Shots of the blue burner flames, immaculate chinaware, and gourmet food were all perfectly lit.
On the other hand, the production design focused on the high-end gastronomy of London. It’s the kind of fine dining restaurant that provides a not-so-generous amount of serving and mouth-watering meals you’ll be hard-pressed to afford.
The Highly Talented, Self-Destructive Protagonist
It probably wasn’t intentional, owing to the fact that it was another well-portrayed cliché and pattern in literature and film, but Cooper’s character is the perfect representation of this image. We couldn’t deny that Adam is a good looking chef, drool-worthy as the dishes he prepares and the cake he baked for Helene’s daughter.
Despite his perfection in the kitchen and unshaken attitude in achieving his goals, he was easily swayed into thinking that holding on to success at a young age will lead to failure. Thus, the substance abuse that wrecked havoc to his career.
Maybe Adam should’ve been taught early that nurturing what you have is not that all bad, isn’t it? He got a taste of success at an early age. It was sweet, made him hungry for more. But then he was probably discontented. He felt that there was nothing else he could have chased in this world after he got what he wanted so he let it slip away. Too bad, some geniuses are lost stars, too. Or maybe men are just naturally adventurous.
Just like Adam, this imagery only shows that someone who is wired to be extremely smart on the systematic level is more prone to second-guessing their talents. We sometimes get lost in the ambitions we dream about that we think these are the best-laid plans for us. But when we don’t achieve it, we start to crumble and fall.
Sure enough, Adam knows that he’s going to be a famous chef, because according to him, the kitchen is the only place where he felt like he belonged. Unfortunately, he learned the hard way. That is why I couldn’t blame him if he was seeking for the smoother path toward success. Or maybe he thought that he was good enough and that he deserved to indulge in things that give temporary happiness like alcohol and drugs.
It could also be that as human beings, we are not perfect. We are often overwhelmed by not just the negativities that are thrown upon us but also the positive things we gratefully take. Sometimes, we tend to underestimate ourselves, thinking that we are not worth the blessings we receive; so as a defense mechanism, we let go of the responsibility and stop holding on to what we thought wasn’t our purpose.
The truth is, it’s not who you are that’s holding you back, it’s who you think you’re not.
Success starts the moment you believe in yourself and give it a chance at redemption. The only thing that’s blocking our way toward what we want in life is we. Adam himself fought for his dream of achieving that Michelin star and realized that he was supposed to be in another direction—opposite substance abuse and one in which his one-way ticket was meant for.
To conclude this, I’ll give Burnt the most-coveted three stars and a gentle reminder for everyone:
Simmer down and don’t jump out of the frying pan into the fire, or you’ll get burned. 😉