Bone in the Throat is not a who-done-it; we know who did and why. But the film is an exciting, fast-paced look into the world of a chef who is making good, coming from a Mafioso family, the consequences of which will become a problem. Gentle Will (Westwick) works at Fork (nice pun), a chi-chi restaurant in Manhattan. He’s doing well, and is dating Sophie (Kirby), the daughter of the owner, Rupert (Graves). The problem comes when Rupert’s drug use and debts are catching up with him and he is behind on payments to the Mafia.
When Ronnie (Nyman), the main kingpen’s hit man, is given his orders to kill Rupert, the unfortunate Will is a witness. Now since he is “family” to Ronnie, everyone is reassured that Will will not reveal anything to the police, until a snoopy cop manages to get evidence by not-quite legal means. The Mafia find out about, though, and then not only is Will’s life is in danger, but Sophie’s is as well.
Bone in the Throat is not simply a thriller, in that bits of comedy are thrown in, along with a look at a kitchen in a fine restaurant—not such an appetizing picture if you plan to eat at one anytime soon. It’s a den of barked orders, personal conflict, absence of handwashing, and tastes from the simmering food pots, and even customers’ plates. (Hopefully, this is comedy too, but maybe not.) Some of the funniest lines are by and about Ronnie, something of an evil fool. He loves fish, which he carries around, making others hold their noses, asking, “What’s that smell?” He always explains that he prefers fish because “meat makes me aggressive.”
The worst drawback in Bone in the Throat is the poor sound quality. The theater has to turn up the sound so much it has an echo effect, and this with the actors’ British accents, sometimes makes it difficult to follow the plot. A minor disappointment for me is that with such elegant food being served up, the camera barely shows any of the plates, except at the very end.
Bone in the Throat has a lot of blood and brutal murders, but the very end is clever and satisfying. It is based on the book by Anthony Bourdain, a former chef and current television personality and one of the producers of the film.
High drama in the kitchen.