Monday, 27 August 2007

Review: Fast Food Nation

I watched Fast Food Nation last night which I'd been wanting to see for quite a while. I knew it was based on a factual book about the fast food industry but they could have written some sort of storyline for it. It felt like it'd been thrown together in about five minutes.
It's a shame because the greed and cruelty of the meat industry is obviously something worth highlighting, but it just wasn't done in a very creative way. The storyline about the Mexicans who worked in the meat factory was a bit depressing, to say the least (I know that's the point, but God! There's only so much I can take).
So let's talk cameos. Whilst I don't mind getting a lecture off of Ethan Hawke (he could say anything and I'd just drool gormlessly) I resent getting one off Avril 'rat face' Lavigne. There was something really 'worthy' about the dialogue between the teenage 'eco-activists' that was just wholly unappealing. The characters were so cliched. It's a shame because Richard Linklater films seems to tread a very fine line between moving brilliance (Before Sunrise/ Sunset) and arsey pretension (Waking Life).
Bruce Willis was pretty good, and I liked the pairing of Ethan and Patricia Arquette as brother and sister, but that's juts because they are my favourite actors. There was no resolution to the film either(because there won't be one in reality, yeah, I get it) which was also frustrating.
The scenes in the slaughterhouse were particularly unpalatable (obviously). I could have just about stood them if the storyline had been a bit more satisfying but as it was, I was just mildly horrified.
I wish so much that I could be a vegetarian. But as I only eat ten things in the world (and no vegetables) it's pretty difficult. My vegetarian diet would just consist of chips and bread. Still: I feel very guilty about eating meat. It is morally unjustifiable no matter what way you dress it up.
I think things will change very gradually. Maybe in a thousand years meat-eating will seem as abhorrent as smoking crack. In the meantime, if this film makes one person give up their Maccy D's and KFC, then that's great. Unfortunately, it won't be me.

4 comments:

Eddie said...

I haven’t seen this film (I read the book about 5 years ago). I wonder when it was released. God, I’m such a hermit (in fact I won’t tell you the last film I went to see at the cinema – you’ll kill yourself laughing).
I’m completely with you on the veggie debate (predictably?!) and I can relate to that ambivalence about the necessity of a healthy diet and hating the meat industry. I think the best thing to do (healthwise) is keep it down to a minimum and have as much diversity in your diet as possible. I was veggie for about 4 years and then got a bit concerned (paranoid, probably) about being unhealthy, so started eating meat again. The thing that I noticed was other people’s reactions to that; y’know ‘Why, why, why?’ like y’gonna have some sort of really special reason that no one had ever heard of, and then it’s worse when you eat it again and people are very smug and matter-of-fact about how wrong you were (usually just excusing themselves). I used to have very contrived, well rehearsed retorts about such things. Now I just tell them to fuck off and mind their own business. No one’s got any solutions (although I’ve always wondered why healthy food in general is about three times the average price – that makes a huge difference to a population’s eating habits).

lightupvirginmary said...

I think people are very envious of vegetarians and very angry that they don't dare be one themselves and that's why they try and make them feel freakish in that way. Either that or they really DON'T care about animals at all. Aren't people weird who hate animals? It's like people who hate music. They have no souls!
Come on then- what was the film? :-)

Eddie said...

Ok, March of the bloody penguins alright

lightupvirginmary said...

Ooh I loved that: who knew penguins went through so much? I thought they were just stupid waddly little things mucking about all day.
The horror when they dropped their eggs! :-(