Daniel Kaluuya, known for his stellar performances in films like Get Out and Nope, has now stepped into the director’s chair. With his dystopian directorial debut, The Kitchen, which he co-directed with Kibwe Tavares, Kaluuya has officially entered into the hallowed corridors of multi-hyphenate talents.
This intense thriller, which recently dropped on Netflix, The Kitchen, takes viewers on a journey through a gritty and dystopian London based in a future not so far away. Social housing has been eradicated, leaving residents of The Kitchen to fight for their homes and future. The story primarily revolves around revolves around Kane Robinson’s Izi and Jedaiah Bannerman’s Benji.
Izi works for a funeral home and is saving up to leave the squalor of The Kitchen behind and move into a place of his own. Things change when Benji enters his life after losing his mother. Much of their dilemma arises from Izi struggling to be Benji’s family. However, The Kitchen isn’t simply about family ties but a tribute to community and communal resilience.
The cast includes talented actors like Ian Wright, Hope Ikpoku Jnr, and Teija Kabs, in addition to Robinson and Bannerman. Despite being a slow-burn tragedy, The Kitchen does not neatly tie everything up by the end. The world inherited by Izi and Benji is way too messy for that. So, it has left viewers questioning what exactly that ending means. Read on to find out.
What happens at the end of The Kitchen?
The ending of The Kitchen is as intense and intriguing as the rest of the film. When Izi finally gets the single occupancy housing he had poured all his savings into, he leaves Benji behind in The Kitchen. Izi contemplates getting a double occupancy apartment with Benji—which would be more expensive—for a while, but eventually, Izi decides to move alone.
However, things shift for Izi finally when he finds out that the occupying forces have raided The Kitchen, resulting in several severe injuries, arrests, and the institutional murder of Lord Kitchener, the beloved radio host and voice of resistance in The Kitchen. Staples, Benji, and their youth group retaliate by rioting in London, leading the police to attack The Kitchen with disproportionate force.
Does Izi go back for Benji in The Kitchen?
After attending Lord Kitchener’s funeral, Izi realises he cannot walk away from Benji. In a poignant moment, Izi and Benji reconcile, and Izi confirms that he is Benji’s father, affirming what Benji’s mother had previously told him. When Benji asks Izi if he is his dad, Izi nods before asking, “Would you want me to be?” to which Benji says, “Let’s just see how it goes.”
However, this happy reconciliation is not the sweet end to their story. As chaos ensues, the community of The Kitchen unites to resist the police, creating a powerful visual of unity and defiance, but the oppressors are all too powerful.
As Izi holds onto Benji protectively, we hear the door to their tiny apartment crash. In the closing moments, as forceful bangs echo through the room, the screen fades to dark, leaving viewers wondering about the fate of Izi, Benji, and The Kitchen’s residents. It is possible they get captured and evicted, but it is also possible that the resistance continues.