Biopics have a way of dividing audiences. If it's an interesting story to someone, they are likely to buy into the premise and love the film. Those who don't buy into it, well they might as well stay far away from it. The Founder is a fascinating story that I'm sure the majority of people have no prior knowledge of. Having said that, the material presented throughout this picture will most likely leave some viewers angry. I will dive into why that is shortly, but this is a very solid film that does a great job of exposing this sleazy man. By no means will this film win any awards and I love Michael Keaton, but The Founder can be quite the tough pill to swallow at times. Here is why The Founder is a very frustrating film to watch.
From The Ground Up
Everything on Earth has a story. Where it's someones story of how they graduated University, started an million dollar internet company, or began a fast food restaurant chain, everything has a beginning. The Founder showcases how two men created a little restaurant called McDonald's, to only be found by a very persuasive salesman, to becoming an enormous empire of a company, leaving the creators far behind in the dust. It almost hurts to go on this journey, due to the fact that this really is just a display of how far someone is willing to go to become powerful in life. Watching this man ruin the lives of others around him, while not caring about anyone but himself, was a truly uncomfortable theatre experience, especially because it's a true story.
His Personal Life
Following Ray Croc around his business ventures, his home life, and the time when he has his freedom to be alone, I truthfully found myself wishing the film would focus more on him being a dick to everyone in order to make money. I say this, because his personal life, which involves a crumbling marriage and sleazy affairs, was incredibly off-putting, but that is all thanks to a great performance from Michael Keaton. He never fails to impress when it comes to giving his all in a performance. I believed that he had studied the mannerisms of his real-life persona, because I hated every word that came out of his mouth. If you enjoy watching the exposure of true stories, no matter how brutally honest they are, you may just love The Founder.
Get To The Point
While the material presented throughout The Founder is fascinating, there was a sense that something was missing, as far as pacing goes. In a film like 2010's The Social Network, the dialogue drove the story and made a two hour film feel like it was stuck on fast-forward. There were hardly any lulls and everything was cut at a rapid pace, leaving no time to take a breath, which is what made that film so engaging. I absolutely loved how The Social Network was told and I felt this film needed to take a page from that script for some pointers on how to speed things up. My biggest complaint I can make about The Founder is that it felt too slow, almost all the time. I appreciated the fact that it felt like taking its time to tell the story at hand, but there was a lot of room for trimming in my opinion.
My Overall Thoughts
In the end, whether or not the subject matter annoys you, I feel as though you will be blown away by this story that I am sure you had no prior knowledge of. The Founder plays as more of an exposure piece, in showing how cruel this man was and how he would stop at nothing to have this become his own company. McDonald's has become one of the biggest things on the planet, so this is a story that I believe will intrigue most people. Also, McDonald's probably loved this film, due to the fact that it's one giant promotion for them as well. With some solid direction, some great acting across the board, and a story worth exploring, The Founder definitely warrants a recommendation. Having said that, I did find it quite slow and once the plot sets itself in motion, it becomes more of a series of reveals than anything else. Solid entertainment.