Soul Kitchen
2009
**½
Director: Fatih Akin
Cast: Adam Bousdoukos, Birol Ünel, Moritz Bleibtreu, Anna Bederke, Pheline Roggan, Dorka Gryllus, Wotan Wilke Möhring, Lucas Gregorowicz

After two brilliant, weighty culture clash dramas (Head-On and The Edge of Heaven) Fatih Akin takes a break with a light comedy, even if his characters are once again ethnically diverse. Zinos, a German-Greek with a bad back, runs a shabby fast food joint in Hamburg, but what he really wants is to reunite with his girlfriend in China. The escape looks possible when the new eccentric head chef turns his fortunes around, but his own shiftless brother is an accident waiting to happen. The story is not terribly original but it charms you with its low-key comedy and enjoyable characters. Then two thirds into the film everything falls apart in ten cringeworthy minutes. There’s a sequence of unfunny farcical events which throw away all the sympathy you may have felt towards the protagonist.