Director Fatih Akin dishes out lighter fare in his delightful and appropriately titled Soul Kitchen. Having previously achieved worldwide art-house fame for such brooding and powerful films as The Edge of Heaven and Head-On, Akin is at ease and in great form in this wistful comedy.
Zinos Kazantsakis runs a no-frills pub in Hamburg called Soul Kitchen, where loyal locals flock for the good grub and music. His idle life begins to tilt when his girlfriend takes a job in China, fast-tracking his plan to leave the restaurant business forever. However, his exit strategy gets derailed in this vibrant comedy of errors. His surly brother is recently out on parole and needs a job, and his new chef's fancy fare is turning away the currywurst-loving customers. To make it all worse, he just slipped a disc, and a greedy businessman is trying to steal his family's property. What ensues is a foot-tapping-music-filled, mouthwatering journey of revelations. Soul Kitchen is a deliciously fun and heartfelt romp, and Akin has proved that—no matter what the genre—he can serve up poignancy and soul from his own filmmaking kitchen.