Soul Kitchen

In a peppy Eurocomedy from Turkish-German director Fatih Akin, young wild-haired Greek-German Zinos Kazantsakis (Adam Bousdoukos) runs a lumpen-loved schnitzel joint in a former Hamburg warehouse. Events with socio­economically loaded undertones send this Akin protagonist spinning: Rich, pasty-faced girlfriend (Pheline Roggan) chases a job in China, light-fingered brother Illias (watch-twirling Moritz Bleibtreu) gets parole, crass childhood friend Thomas (Wotan Wilke Möhring) schemes to flip the property, a militant new chef triggers clientele flight (“Culinary racists!”).

Because the filmmaker’s main agenda here is to keep things bumping along, the fraught situations are happily played — crowd-­pleasing rather than issue-stroking. As the hapless, devoted, herniated restaurateur, Bousdoukos mugs, frets and Frankenstein-walks with a winning excitability. Pseudo-retro fish-eye lensing, party-camera pivots and obvious gags are among the movie’s goofier features. Akin tends toward snappy plotlines, but the amiable sell of his latest movie turns that bug into a feature.

Categories: Movies