Women troop out of ‘The Kitchen’ to maul the mafia

‘The Kitchen’ is a mafia film set in 1970s New York. (Supplied)
Updated 26 August 2019
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Women troop out of ‘The Kitchen’ to maul the mafia

CHENNAI: Andrea Berloff’s latest adventure, “The Kitchen,” begins … well, in the kitchen, but soon takes to the streets of 1978 New York. Set when female empowerment was not widely championed, this is a tale of the patriarchal Irish mob. Yet, even with that historical background, the theme, and the portrayal of the characters and the era, comes across as dated.

There is enough plot to whet the interest, but the script and dialogue, too, is a let down. An abused wife finds love outside of her marriage and, in one scene, egged on by her lover, begins slicing up a corpse apropos of nothing. This scene, along with several others, borders on the hysterical, if not downright implausible.

The woman in question is Claire Walsh (Elisabeth Moss). When her gangster husband and two other men working for the Italian mafia are jailed after they are caught during a liquor-store hold-up, Claire joins two other mob wives – Kathy Brennan (Melissa McCarthy) and Ruby O'Carroll (Tiffany Haddish) — in an effort to survive. Let down by their husbands’ bosses, the women arm themselves with guns and turn to their very own gangsterism.

Their neighborhood trembles, and the mafia is uncertain about how to deal with the trio, especially their Jekyll and Hyde personalities. Kathy is a loving mum of two adorable kids used to living by her husband’s rulebook. Ruby, meanwhile, is treated like an outsider by her husband’s family.

The women’s acting is admirable in parts, but when the men get out of jail, their power peaks, then wanes, and so, frankly, does the writing. The male cast members are essentially non-performers, bordering on props, and the character development, such as it is, remains unconvincing. The wives may get a raw deal in this gory tale — but not as raw a deal as the audience.  


Celine Dion returns to Canada to kick off world tour

Updated 19 September 2019

Celine Dion returns to Canada to kick off world tour

  • The Grammy winner also recently announced the release of a new album titled “Courage”
  • She said in April that she felt motivated to create new music and hit the road after the 2016 death of her husband and manager

QUEBEC CITY: After living and crooning for years in Las Vegas, French-Canadian superstar Celine Dion returned home to Quebec to kick off her first world tour in a decade on Wednesday.
At 51, the Grammy winner also recently announced the release of a new album titled “Courage,” which will be her 12th in English and is due out on November 15.
The first single “Flying On My Own,” featuring her powerful vocals backed by techno beats, has already hit the airwaves, while three more dropped Wednesday: “Courage,” “Lying Down” and “Imperfections.”
Known for her blockbuster ballads, Dion said in April that she felt motivated to create new music and hit the road after the 2016 death of her husband and manager Rene Angelil.
“When I lost Rene, he wanted me back on stage. He wanted to make sure I was still practicing my passion,” she said. “I wanted to prove to him that I’m fine, we’re fine, we’re going to be OK. I’ve got this.”
So, after more than 1,140 concerts for 4.5 million fans over 16 years in Sin City, she bid adieu to the Colosseum at Caesars Palace with a final two-hour show.
“Courage is exactly the way I feel,” she told public broadcaster CBC at the time, talking up the upcoming tour of the same name.
“In the past three years, it has been difficult for me to talk to my children, to raise them, to lose my husband, wondering am I going to sing again... so much has happened, but at the same time I feel that I’m in control of my life.”
Some 60 dates in North American have been confirmed so far, her label said, with two arena shows in Quebec City on Wednesday and Saturday kicking off the tour, which will run through April 2020, and will be her first world tour since 2008-2009.
Her show was almost two hours of mastery, as she performed some of her greatest hits — from “I’m Alive” to “My Heart Will Go On” — as well as new material to an ecstatic crowd of roughly 20,000.
“It was really impossible to miss Celine at home,” Nicolas Delivre, a French university exchange student in Montreal, told AFP.
Donald Berard, from Quebec City, said he had grown up listening to Dion. “We love her like a member of our family.”
“Courage” marks the first album and tour in Dion’s long career without Angelil, who steered her success beginning in 1981 when he mortgaged his house to finance the young teen’s debut album.
The pair began a personal relationship in 1988 when she was only 19 years old, and married in a lavish ceremony in 1994. Angelil died of throat cancer at age 73.
In an interview with NBC’s Today show, Dion revealed that she longs for the hugs and laughs that come with a relationship, but added, “I’m not ready to date.”
The youngest of a family of 14 children raised in the suburbs of Montreal, Dion has sold 250 million copies of 23 studio albums in English and French, including collaborations with French singer-songwriter Jean-Jacques Goldman, Barbra Streisand and Stevie Wonder.
Back in Canada, she told the Montreal Gazette that the tour schedule was “a little crazy,” but that she had found time in advance to take in life’s small pleasures.
At a press junket last Friday, Dion told Radio-Canada: “There are good wines that age well, and there are good wines that age badly. I hope to be a good bottle of wine.”
“I’m not a new Celine,” Dion added. “I’m a continuity of myself.”