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

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.  


George and Amal Clooney to donate $100,000 to Lebanese charities

Updated 07 August 2020

George and Amal Clooney to donate $100,000 to Lebanese charities

DUBAI: American actor George Clooney and his wife, Lebanese-British human rights lawyer Amal Clooney, are donating $100,000 to Lebanese charities helping those left homeless by the deadly explosion in Beirut.

The blast, which broke though the capital city on Aug. 4, has killed at least 137 people and injured thousands.

According to Variety, the couple said: “We’re both deeply concerned for the people of Beirut and the devastation they’ve faced in the last few days.”

“Three charitable organizations we’ve found are providing essential relief on the ground: the Lebanese Red Cross, Impact Lebanon, and Baytna Baytak. We will be donating to these three $100,000 and hope that others will help in any way they can,” they added.

Other celebrities such as Kylie Jenner, DJ Khaled, and singer Dua Lipa, have been taking to social media to show their support for victims, and online influencers around the world have been urging their followers to make donations toward rescue and recovery work.