Review: ‘The Menu’ serves up chills aplenty but boasts a lackluster final course  

Review: ‘The Menu’ serves up chills aplenty but boasts a lackluster final course  
Ralph Fiennes in ‘The Menu.’ (Supplied)
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Updated 19 January 2023

Review: ‘The Menu’ serves up chills aplenty but boasts a lackluster final course  

Review: ‘The Menu’ serves up chills aplenty but boasts a lackluster final course  

CHENNAI: Ever since I watched “The Menu,” now available on Disney+ in Saudi Arabia and across the Middle East, I’ve wondered whether I will be able to enjoy a meal at a restaurant ever again.  

Director Mark Mylod's immensely uncomfortable, atmospheric thriller — which debuted at the Toronto International Film Festival — has spoilt my appetite for eating out. 

With a screenplay by Seth Reiss and Will Tracy, wonderful lensing by Peter Deming, and production design by Ethan Tobman, the film has all the ingredients of a superb watch — and it is packed with shocking moments.  

An elaborate multi-course dinner is served up for an intimate group of 12 privileged men and women, who are taken by boat to a remote island for the occasion. The terribly pompous chef Slowik (a great performance here by Ralph Fiennes) serves up the fare with the help of his aides. 

 
 
 
 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by The Menu (@themenufilm)

Slowik is more interested in his meal being admired rather than enjoyed, which is rather difficult considering one of his sous chefs commits suicide in front of the horrified diners. The macabre tale continues with Slowik tormenting his guests, who were handpicked for the monstrous occasion. Well, all except Margo (Anya Taylor-Joy), who arrives on the island as a replacement date of Tyler (Nicholas Hoult). She is curious and disgusted by what is going on, but is also harshly critical of Slowik.  

 
 
 
 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by The Menu (@themenufilm)

It is only toward the end that we understand why Slowik does what he does — the reason is unconvincing, however. 

The narrative seems interesting when the mystery is being thrown at us, but when the solutions come, the meal is ruined.  


Tom Cruise to attend Middle East premiere of ‘Mission Impossible’ in Abu Dhabi

Tom Cruise to attend Middle East premiere of ‘Mission Impossible’ in Abu Dhabi
Updated 06 June 2023

Tom Cruise to attend Middle East premiere of ‘Mission Impossible’ in Abu Dhabi

Tom Cruise to attend Middle East premiere of ‘Mission Impossible’ in Abu Dhabi

DUBAI: The UAE is set to host the Middle East premiere of the eagerly awaited “Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part One” at a red-carpet event at Abu Dhabi’s Emirates Palace on June 26.

The film’s screening will be attended by Hollywood superstar Tom Cruise and director Christopher McQuarrie.

Some of the movie’s scenes were shot in the Liwa desert and the Midfield Terminal in the UAE capital’s airport.

McQuarrie, Cruise, and the cast and crew shot in the emirate for almost two weeks in 2021 with the support of the Abu Dhabi Film Commission and other local production partners, including twofour54 Abu Dhabi.

It marks the second time the Paramount Pictures’ franchise has filmed in Abu Dhabi following the HALO jump sequence for “Mission: Impossible – Fallout” in 2018.

Khalfan Al-Mazrouei, acting director general of Creative Media Authority, said: “Hosting the premiere of ‘Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part One’ is an honor for Abu Dhabi and is also a reflection of the position the emirate holds as one of the Middle East and North Africa region’s top film and TV locations.

“We are proud to have worked with such a genre-defining franchise once again and it demonstrates how Abu Dhabi has everything filmmakers need to successfully complete such large, complex productions.”


US First Lady Jill Biden steps out in Reem Acra gown in Marrakesh

US First Lady Jill Biden steps out in Reem Acra gown in Marrakesh
Jill Biden and Princess Lalla Hasna. (Instagram)
Updated 06 June 2023

US First Lady Jill Biden steps out in Reem Acra gown in Marrakesh

US First Lady Jill Biden steps out in Reem Acra gown in Marrakesh

DUBAI: US First Lady Jill Biden continued her longstanding relationship with Lebanese fashion designer Reem Acra by wearing a purple ensemble from the designer’s eponymous brand at a meeting with Princess Lalla Hasna of Morocco this week.  

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by REEM ACRA (@reemacra)

“First Lady Dr. Jill Biden radiated elegance and poise as she met with Her Royal Highness Princess Lalla Hasna of Morocco in Marrakesh wearing a regal Reem Acra purple dress,” the label posted on Instagram. 

The fashion move comes mere days after Biden showed off another gown by Reem Acra at the wedding of Jordan’s Crown Prince Hussein bin Abdullah II and Rajwa Al-Hussein, nee Al-Saif, in Amman on Thursday.  

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by REEM ACRA (@reemacra)

It was the same gown she previously stepped out in for a state dinner at the White House in honor of the South Korean president. 


Saudi label Ashi Studio to show at Paris Haute Couture Week   

Saudi label Ashi Studio to show at Paris Haute Couture Week   
Updated 06 June 2023

Saudi label Ashi Studio to show at Paris Haute Couture Week   

Saudi label Ashi Studio to show at Paris Haute Couture Week   

DUBAI: Saudi designer Mohammed Ashi, founder of Paris-based label Ashi Studio, is set to join the Fédération de la Haute Couture as a guest member and will showcase his latest line on the official Haute Couture calendar in Paris on July 6. 

Ashi, who launched his label his eponymous house 17 years ago, is the first couturier from the Gulf region to be invited to show a collection on the federation’s official fashion week calendar.  

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Ashi Studio (@ashistudio)

Ashi and his atelier have been established in Paris since 2018. His designs have been worn by A-list celebrities such as Beyonce, Lady Gaga, Jennifer Hudson, Kylie Minogue, Penélope Cruz, Deepika Padukone, Sonam Kapoor, Queen Rania of Jordan and more.  

“This appointment is the highlight of my career,” Ashi said in a released statement posted on Instagram. “I will honor it in the memory of the great couturiers who came before me and whom I now join in the pursuit of this grand tradition of excellence in creativity and savoir-faire. 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Ashi Studio (@ashistudio)

“Today, I am reminded of days escaping to the garden to dream, and, of that first day, when I hired one seamstress to bring to life the images in my head. Challenging and joyous, couture has and continues to lay bare my inner energy, so that I may give the best of myself to serve its high art,” he added.  

“This recognition brings me the greatest emotion; it offers me the opportunity to share with you who I am. As this new chapter unfolds, I recognize that today would not be possible without the exceptional talent and dedication of my atelier. I wish to thank everyone who has worked to bring my dreams to life,” Ashi wrote on Instagram.  

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Ashi Studio (@ashistudio)

Ashi previously told Arab News: “I incredibly proud of my Saudi roots … my designs are often influenced by Saudi heritage.”  

In February, the designer opened his first-ever flagship store in Riyadh. “I look forward to bring the opulence and fantasy of couture to my home country,” he told Arab News ahead of the opening.  

“Saudi has a thriving fashion scene, and the Fashion Commission is doing a great job at supporting emerging Saudi talent,” Ashi added.  


British Moroccan model Nora Attal poses for Chanel Beauty

British Moroccan model Nora Attal poses for Chanel Beauty
Updated 05 June 2023

British Moroccan model Nora Attal poses for Chanel Beauty

British Moroccan model Nora Attal poses for Chanel Beauty

DUBAI: British Moroccan model Nora Attal took to Instagram this week to share photographs of herself posing for Chanel Beauty.

The photographs, shot by Belgian photographer Quentin De Briey, show Attal posing with a pair of Chanel sunglasses. The model is also seen holding a pocket-sized capsule of Chanel hand cream and lying in long green grass with her oversized branded shades.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Nora Attal (@noraattal)

Attal has starred in a number of campaign shoots for the French fashion and beauty house in the past, including its most recent festive season campaign in December.

The luxury label released an outer space-themed festive campaign, in which a bevy of models were depicted jetting off to the moon in style.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Nora Attal (@noraattal)

In the short clip, a group of models fly to the moon on the glittering Eiffel Tower. Once they land, Attal can be seen exploring the lunar landscape while a robot etches the maison’s famous logo onto the surface of the moon.

“Went to the Moon with @chanel,” Attal captioned a carousel of campaign images.

Attal is a Chanel fixture and has walked the runway for the storied brand a number of times over the years.

She hit the runway for Chanel in October at Paris Fashion Week, where she showed off a number of looks as part of the label’s Spring-Summer 2023 showcase. The ensembles were part of a 71-piece collection designed by the fashion house’s creative director Virginie Viard.

The model had a 2022 to remember. Last June, she treated her Instagram fans to a snapshot of her 23rd birthday celebrations, including attending a concert by US rapper Megan Thee Stallion at the Primavera Sound Festival in Barcelona, Spain.

Her birthday celebrations came hot on the heels of a sentimental moment for Attal, as the catwalk star tied the knot with her partner, UK-based photographer Victor Bastidas. The wedding took place against the backdrop of orange and palm trees in the presence of their loved ones in Ibiza, Spain.

Attal was first discovered by Jonathan Anderson, the founder of fashion label JW Anderson label, and shot a campaign for the British fashion house in 2014 before she had even taken her first steps down a catwalk.

She would go on to become a runway fixture. Based in London and signed to Viva Model Management, Attal has worked with a number of renowned designers and stylists. She has walked the runway for major fashion houses, including Tom Ford, Tory Burch, Tiffany & Co., Fendi, Burberry and Valentino, to name a few.


Sofia Carson dazzles in Zuhair Murad at event honoring late co-star

Sofia Carson dazzles in Zuhair Murad at event honoring late co-star
Updated 04 June 2023

Sofia Carson dazzles in Zuhair Murad at event honoring late co-star

Sofia Carson dazzles in Zuhair Murad at event honoring late co-star

DUBAI: Actress Sofia Carson cut an elegant figure in a Zuhair Murad gown as she reunited with her “Descendants” co-stars Dove Cameron and Booboo Stewart to remember one of their own.

The “Descendants” stars gathered at the second annual Cam for a Cause event in memory of their co-star Cameron Boyce, who died at the age of 20 due to an epileptic seizure.

The actress-singer showed up in a beautiful black Zuhair Murad fall 2023 draped pleated cape gown with gold button detailing.

This is not the first time Carson has worn the Lebanese couturier. Late last year, Carson attended the Global Citizen Festival in a coordinating look from Murad’s resort 2023 collection. The outfit featured an embellished crop-top and mini-skirt set with matching thigh-high leather boots.

Meanwhile, the Cam for a Cause  event, which was created by Boyce’s parents under the Cameron Boyce Foundation, was made to raise awareness and find a cure for epilepsy and SUDEP, Sudden Unexpected Death in Epilepsy, which caused the young actor’s death in July 2019.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Sofia Carson (@sofiacarson)

“Black-ish” star Yara Shahidi received the Cameron Boyce Foundation’s Youth Empowerment Award for her “activism surrounding STEM awareness, women’s rights, civil rights, and her countless acts of kindness toward others.”

“I met Cameron when we were 5 years old, and even then, his talent, his fearlessness and his belief in the power of his peers was evident,” Shahidi said in a statement. “It means so much to be recognized for my advocacy, and the work I continue to do to effect change. I’m grateful to my friends and family at the Cameron Boyce Foundation for thinking of me, as I will always be inspired and activated by their incredible work in the fight to end epilepsy.”

Shahidi attended the event in a black top under a stylish black coat with a jewel-encrusted leopard brooch from Cartier.

Last year, Carson paid tribute to the actor by posting a sweet pic of them together on Instagram to mark three years since he died.

In the photo, Carson could be seen hugging Boyce.

“Three years without you. I love you, forever. I miss you, forever,” Carson wrote in the caption.