HomeAnimeFILM REVIEW | Colorful Madness in the Name of "Chicken"

FILM REVIEW | Colorful Madness in the Name of "Chicken"

FILM REVIEW | Colorful Madness in the Name of "Chicken"

As a certain candy bar tagline goes, “You’re not you when you’re hungry.” Quests in the name of food can often lead towards chaos, as the likes of Harold, Kumar, Yukihira Soma, and Gordon Ramsay will attest. Even after obtaining the food of choice, mayhem can still unfold when you least expect it. Chicken for Linda!, the latest movie from Chiara Malta (Simple Women) and Sébastien Laudenbach (The Girl Without Hands), brings that level of chaos in a magnificent way.

It all starts with a misunderstanding. Paulette (Clotilde Hesme) accuses her daughter Linda (Melinée Leclerc) of taking her ring and giving it to a friend. When the ring is found in a puddle of cat barf, Paulette is filled with guilt. To make up for her mistake, she asks Linda what she’d like. The daughter asks for a seemingly simple request: chicken with peppers, the meal her late father used to make.

But there’s a problem: the city has shut down due to a strike, and no shop is open. Desperate for redemption, Paulette finds a farm, steals a live chicken, and attempts to start preparing dinner. Alas, insanity breaks down the door, resulting in a plethora of situations that a mere chicken shouldn’t cause. A police chase, a fire, an arrest, gunfire, and more bouncing watermelons than Gallagher could ever imagine all befall the city, all because of a meal Linda craves.

It’s the ole snowball effect in Chicken for Linda!, as one tiny incident rolls downward, attaching more problems until it crashes into a massive lump. Poor Paulette can’t get anything right, with her sister Astrid (Lætitia Dosch) also forcibly taken for a wild, erm, chicken chase over the situation. Even the cop who gets involved in the situation has no luck on his side, with all of these troubles resulting him being in a wildly funny predicament. But despite the zaniness that occurs, there’s a tinge of sadness in everything that’s occurring.

That craving for chicken comes from Linda’s inability to remember her father. No longer in this world, the only thing left of his that she can cling onto is a recipe for chicken with peppers. Stubborn as she can be over getting that chicken, Linda’s attitude can be seen as being sympathetic. Even Paulette realizes this, with the chicken dish one of the only things that bonds the family together.

While there’s that sadness lingering on, Chicken for Linda! is foremost a comedy. And when the wackiness of Paulette and Linda’s day commences with the stolen chicken, the laughs keep on coming. It’s like watching a domino effect come to life in bright beautiful colors, in an art style that feels more appropriate for a museum than a motion picture. Every frame of this film could easily hang on the wall of some art gallery, a country home, or even the lobby of a five-star hotel.

Acting as the gravy of this film is Clément Ducol’s gorgeous soundtrack. On top of the beautiful score, the songs that the characters sing are both goofy and heartfelt. Whether it’s about stress candy, crying children at night, or a deceased dad’s regrets, the songs that this film showcases perfectly fit the moods and situations on hand. (Perhaps a stage adaptation could be in the future?)

Sometimes you need a little madness to recognize the important things in life. Chicken for Linda! proves this in spades, thanks to its excellent pacing and imaginative storytelling. It goes to great lengths to show what a craving can cause, be it something good like a bonding moment or — in the wildest of cases — a bonkers riot filled with fruit, smoke, and the occasional semi-nude police officer. But hey, at least a tasty meal makes all that craziness worthwhile, even if the meat’s a little too free-ranged.


Promotional consideration provided by Grace Liriano of GKIDS and Jeremy Augustitus of 42West.

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The J-POP king of America, Evan has been bringing the hottest sounds of the Land of the Rising Sun to the English-speaking public since his college radio days. He's also an expert in the gaming, anime, & manga realms, never afraid to get critical when the times call for it. Born & bred in Boston, he achieved his biggest dream yet by making the big move to Tokyo, Japan in Summer 2023! For personal inquiries, contact Evan at evan@b3crew.com. For press/band inquiries, write to us at thebastards@bostonbastardbrigade.com. (Drawing by AFLM of Wicked Anime)