|Die Frankfurt-Tipp Bewertung:|
|Regie:||John Lee Hancock|
|Laufzeit:||Ca. 115 Min|
The representative Ray Kroc (Michael Keaton) is desperate: It's hard for him to sell his milkshake mixers. He travels across the country in the early 1950s to find customers. But the big breakthrough just won't come. When a fast-food restaurant in San Bernardino, California, orders six of his mixers, Ray doesn't hesitate and drives straight there to close the deal. When he arrives at the restaurant of the brothers Mac (John Carroll Lynch) and Dick McDonald (Nick Offerman), he is astonished. The customers are served every second and are enthusiastic about the burgers they can buy here. Ray senses the big business and with a lot of persuasion and even more perseverance can persuade the brothers to give him the franchise rights to their concept. The foundation stone for a fast food empire has been laid - but it is still a long and not always pleasant road to great success…
"The Founder" tells the true story about the founding of the most successful fast food chain in the world. Anyone expecting a song of praise on MacDonalds will be surprised. Because Ray Kroc, to whom the fast food restaurants owe their distribution and success, is by no means portrayed as a radiant hero, but as a cunning businessman to whom profit and success were more important than human ideals or his own family. The fact that he is often watched as an empire is built is primarily due to Michael Keaton, who simply does a great job of transforming a desperate salesman into an ice-cold millionaire. He plays Kroc as an unscrupulous dazzler, who can be extremely charming until he gets what he wants, only to show himself from a mercilessly cold and unfriendly side.
Keaton succeeds in extracting some interesting facets from the character. Ray Kroc is not a one-dimensional disgust package, but a fighter who took so long to get to the top that he doesn't want to leave it any more - whatever the cost. Apart from the fact that it's simply interesting to see what the roots of a company like MacDonalds look like, it's precisely the transformation Ray Kroc undergoes throughout the story that makes this film so engaging. In "Saving Mr. Banks", director John Lee Hancock recently took a close look at Walt Disney, another founder of a billion-euro company. However, Disney got away much better than Ray Kroc simply because of the fact that he was played by Tom Hanks, probably the biggest sympathizer on the planet. What both films have in common is that Hancock tries to disenchant at least a little bit of a myth and shows the very human, not always beautiful side behind an empire like MacDonalds or Disney.
"The Founder" tells his story thrillingly, but never loses sight of the entertainment value. So from time to time some humour is used, sometimes interspersed with a good portion of cynicism. This also helps the movie over shorter lengths, which surely would have been more serious if the whole thing had been realized as a pure drama without a hint of irony and lightness. But the whole thing is a very entertaining success story that doesn't leave out its dark sides. Carried by a great leading actor and a very convincing ensemble, there can only be one conclusion at the end: An extremely tasty menu, which has more than earned an "Absolutely worth seeing"!
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