The Kitchen: we’re cooking up a new scifi movie review.

The London Film Festival wrapped up recently, and they chose to conclude with something local, yet dystopian — The Kitchen, a brainchild of architect-turned-filmmaker Kibwe Tavares and actor Daniel Kaluuya. Interestingly, Kaluuya, known for his powerful performances, didn’t take an acting role here but showed off his versatility by co-directing, co-writing, and co-producing the film.

The setting is eerily plausible. We’re shown a future London, where jam-packed brutalist skyscrapers are home to the marginalized, constantly under the watchful eyes of drones and frequently subjected to random police raids. This somber reality is set within “the Kitchen,” a housing estate that’s a mix between a bustling Brazilian favela and the derelict streets from dystopian films like Blade Runner.

Amidst this backdrop, we follow Izi, an unassuming local played by Kane Robinson (or as some may know him, grime artist Kano). His job? He works at “Life After Life,” a peculiar funeral home that mixes cremated ashes with plant seeds, offering a unique way to memorialize loved ones. Izi’s life takes a turn when he spots a familiar name among the deceased – an old flame – leading to an unexpected connection with her teenage son, Benji.

As the story unfolds, the narrative dives deep into Izi’s inner conflict. He’s poised to leave “the Kitchen” for a newer apartment, a symbol of the gentrification pressure surrounding his community. But when he’s potentially thrust into a paternal role for Benji, things get complicated. And while there’s potential for an explosive story, perhaps a blend of La Haine and Ready Player One, the film seems to hold back, relying on periodic confrontations with riot police to maintain the tension.

However, there’s no denying the mastery behind the scenes. The Kitchen boasts of exceptional set designs and a use of London’s iconic architecture that’s nothing short of genius. The film also treats the audience to a fantastic aural experience, thanks to a captivating score by Labrinth and Alex Baranowski. A noteworthy science fiction film.

The Kitchen: we're cooking up a new scifi movie review.
The Kitchen: we’re cooking up a new scifi movie review.


Colonel Frog is a long time science fiction and fantasy fan. He loves reading novels in the field, and he also enjoys watching movies (as well as reading lots of other genre books).

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