Written by Robert Siegel, The Founder is a biographical drama that tells the true story of how Ray Kroc (Michael Keaton), a salesman from Illinois, met Mac and Dick McDonald, who were running a burger operation in 1950s Southern California. Kroc was impressed by the brothers’ speedy system of making the food and saw franchise potential. He maneuvered himself into a position to be able to pull the company from the brothers and create a billion-dollar empire.
When Micheal Keaton plays a role, you really don’t see him acting. He becomes the character and that what’s great about him playing roles like these. Being Ray Kroc is quite complicated as what was shown in the film. He was always driven for greatness, oddly even for his age of 52. He seems to be pushing his luck hard or he’s just probably insane. However, only insane people do really get to do these crazy things. Crazy enough to have his vision of being the most popular fast food corporation in the whole world. And he did it , despite the means!
The film did an exceptional job recreating the drama and true story of who really is behind the name Mc Donalds and how it came to be. It is shocking and heart breaking that these small town brothers (Mac and Dick Mc Donalds) who were very passionate about their food would come across this ambitious guy, not knowing he would end up owning their beloved business and taking their name with him! Making it a legendary symbol of family, community and a “church”.
Altogether the story telling was impeccable and so engaging that you’d get lost in the film. You would never know that you’re already inside the movie and has already been captivated by the characters,the scenes and the film itself. Intriguing and well written by R. Siegel as well as astounding direction by J. L. Hancock. Especially the extreme close up monologue shot of Kroc at the introduction and mis en scenes through out the film such as when Kroc had his first Mc Donald’s burger was very effective!
The cast is made up of high calibre actors and actresses that made the whole film very believable. You will definitely feel for the characters and their portrayed roles. Such as for the Mc Donalds’ brothers ( Nick Offerman and John Caroll Lynch) , I felt very sad and what happened was quite tragic for them. It’s like their life was taken away from them. There’s anger and betrayal but there’s also that relief of being left in peace. They would never really want what Kroc wanted even if they had the chance. As for Ray Kroc’s ex wife Ethel Kroc ( Laura Dern) she may seem in and out of the film, but it’s because she was always left alone and was kind of dismissed a lot by her husband. There’s that loneliness in her that’s dying to be rescued, only by her husband. And of course, Kroc played by (Micheal Keaton) exceptional as always. A man who just wanted to be great and recognised , who was a good man but was just too ambitious to let go of his dreams despite what he had to do.
This film is definitely a must watch! Amazing cinematography, great cast, engaging scenes, brilliant editing and great sound.