LAFF: Funke Review

Funke - Evan Funke

Food documentaries have gone through a boom recently in the television world. Series like Netflix’s “Chef’s Table” and CNN’s “Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown” have captivated passionate foodies from all over the world. They inspire us to eat food and broaden our horizon. Unfortunately, good cinematic food documentaries are a little hard to come by. Other than Jiro Dreams of Sushi, there really hasn’t been a documentary that’s been really good.

That is until Funke came around. Although it’s not as good as Jiro, Funke is a compelling documentary that is both informational and full of tension.

Funke documents the comeback of pasta chef, Evan Funke. After several years of being out of the game, Evan looks to create his own restaurant that introduces Los Angeles to the lost art of hand-made pasta. However, the LA food scene isn’t without its hardships.

Funke - Evan Funke

Before watching Funke it’s absolutely imperative that you eat beforehand. This is especially true if you’re a huge fan of pasta. Funke features a ton of breathtaking and wonderful close-up shots of pasta which will definitely make you hungry for some during the film. But it’s not just the cinematography of pasta either. The documentary gets up close and personal to some of the most intimate moments of Evan Funke’s quest for redemption. You can see the concentration and the passion in Evan’s eyes as he’s learning from Italy’s best pasta makers. In addition, you can also see all of the frustration and anger during the hard times.

And Evan Funke goes through a lot of hard times in this film. Some of it is self-inflicted but some of it isn’t under his control. But the film does a great job showing Evan’s faults along with his strengths. Thankfully, this isn’t some sort of vanity documentary where it does nothing but praise his talents. Especially since Evan Funke is not a perfect human being. He has a ton of faults which the film talks about in good detail.

But the point of this documentary is to show Evan’s quest for redemption. Since the documentary shows a humanistic side of Evan Funke, audiences will begin to gravitate towards him as a person. As a result, he’s being set up as a sympathetic character. Someone that you want to root for on his journey for redemption.

Funke - Evan Funke

Although there’s a narrative to this documentary, there’s still a lot of stuff that you can learn from the film. For one thing, you’ll get a sense to how hard extremely difficult it is to open up a restaurant in Los Angeles. From the expensive rent to the business model of opening a restaurant in general, it’s a sobering lesson for anyone thinking about opening up a restaurant.

In addition, the film also gives you lessons on pasta as well. Evan’s whole philosophy is to make pasta from scratch and by hand. It’s a lost art form and we get to learn the process of making pasta by hand. Also, we get to learn about the techniques for making the various types of pasta.

Overall, Funke is a wonderful documentary that combines a redemption narrative with informational material. It’s also a film that’ll give you some intense cravings for pasta. Make sure you eat well prior to watching this film.

Rating: 4.5/5 atoms

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Mark Pacis
Mark Pacis 1336 posts

Self-proclaimed "Human IMDb" and comic book geek. Biggest Iron Man fan you'll probably ever meet.