In the sea of worn-out phrases, there is also the fact that love moves through the stomach, and a couple from this Danish romantic drama obviously adheres to that. Carsten (Nikolai Coster – Waldau still best known as Jamie Lannister from “Game of Thrones”) is a master chef from Copenhagen and owner of a fashionable restaurant, and Maggi (Katrine Greis-Rosenthal) is his wife who has invested all her family heritage in her husband’s restaurant. And we follow that in a “A Taste of Hunger” aka “Smagen af sult” film written and directed by Christoffer Boe (Reconstruction, Journal 64) one day in their lives. And not just any day or night, but a day when a Michelin reviewer should arrive incognito incognito and decide if their restaurant deserves a famous star.
The narration is set non-linearly, so we follow their story in parallel. From the moment they met ten years earlier, to the various ups and downs and everything they actually had to sacrifice and all they risked to deserve that star. Boe divided the story into several chapters called sweet, sour, salty, fatty and the rest that Carsten usually combines to create his supermodern dishes. It is immediately clear to us that he is one of those complete perfectionists, an enthusiast who almost tries to turn cooking into an art. Maggi is his support, but it is clear to us that a lot is wrong with their relationship, and it is as if they are fooling themselves by consoling themselves that everything between them will be as good as it once was when the star arrived.
And this mediocre romantic drama was filmed in a stylized, modernist way, just like the food prepared by this chef who learned the craft in Japan. The background story is a bit fragmentary and through a few episodes from their lives we learn all about them. “A Taste of Hunger” or “Smagen af sult” in the original is one of the films that starts well, but over time it seems to start to blow out and fall in quality and towards the end it goes into excessive melodramatics. Still, this film had three nominations in the Danish Film of the Year selection (original screenplay, make-up and special effects), but failed to confirm any. Release date, June 24, 2021 (Denmark)
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