“The Founder” is a 2016 biographical drama directed by John Lee Hancock and starring Michael Keaton as Ray Kroc, the man who turned McDonald’s into a global fast-food empire.
The movie explores the rise of McDonald’s, from its humble beginnings as a small burger joint in California to a multi-billion dollar corporation.
One of the standout elements of “The Founder” is Keaton’s performance as Ray Kroc. Keaton brings a nuanced and complex portrayal to the character, showcasing Kroc’s ambition, ruthlessness, and charm. The movie shows Kroc as a flawed individual who is willing to do whatever it takes to achieve success, even if it means betraying those who helped him along the way.
The film also provides an interesting look into the history of McDonald’s and its founding by Richard and Maurice McDonald (played by Nick Offerman and John Carroll Lynch). The McDonald brothers are portrayed as innovative and hardworking, creating a streamlined and efficient system for serving fast food that revolutionized the industry. However, they struggle to keep up with Kroc’s ambition and vision for expanding the company.
The movie’s script, written by Robert D. Siegel, effectively conveys the story of McDonald’s rise to success while exploring the complex relationships between the characters. The dialogue is sharp and engaging, with witty quips and poignant moments that keep the audience engaged.
The film’s production design and cinematography are also noteworthy. The 1950s and 1960s setting is effectively captured through the use of period-appropriate clothing, vehicles, and architecture. The camera work is also impressive, with the use of handheld shots and close-ups adding to the tension and drama of the story.
One of the most interesting aspects of “The Founder” is the way it explores the dark side of the American Dream. Kroc is portrayed as a man who achieves success through manipulation and exploitation, taking credit for the work of others and leaving them behind in his quest for wealth and power. The film shows the harsh reality of the business world, where success often comes at the expense of others.
Overall, “The Founder” is a well-crafted and engaging film that provides a fascinating look into the history of McDonald’s and the man who turned it into a global phenomenon. Keaton’s performance as Ray Kroc is a standout, bringing a depth and complexity to the character that makes him both captivating and repulsive. The movie effectively explores themes of ambition, power, and the dark side of the American Dream, making it a must-watch for anyone interested in business history or biographical dramas.