‘The Founder’ is a unique and memorable business story


McDonald’s is a part of everyday Americans’ lives, whether passing one on a drive, seeing an advertisement, or actually dining at one. The film “The Founder” offers a look into the creation of the fast-food chain, revealing the deception, creativity, and hard work that went into its creation. Michael Keaton’s incredible performance as the determined businessman, Ray Kroc, is what really makes this film notable.

Ray Kroc is not immediately a dislikable character, seeming to be a resolute businessman with big dreams. Despite not being the true founder of McDonald’s, Kroc is the mastermind behind the corporation’s success, as well as swindling the restaurant’s original owners. Yes, that’s right, Kroc was able to deceive Mac and Dick McDonald — the brothers who founded the first McDonald’s — before expanding the lowly burger joint into the fast-food behemoth it is today.  

Director John Lee Hancock succeeded in keeping the film emotionally captivating and exciting throughout. The moment Ray first laid his eyes on McDonald’s was perfectly captured, displaying Kroc’s excitement for what could be a new business venture. Throughout the film Ray’s ambition seems to grow larger, yet so does his self-interest. The thought of what Mcdonalds could become was too much for Mr. Kroc, as he seemed to divert his attention solely to the corporation. Kroc’s intense focus on his business venture most likely led to his divorce.

“The Founder” did an exceptional job with the cinematography, shifting the color and brightness depending on the mood of the scene.  Often when a more serious and dismal scene was taking place, the environment would be captured with worse lighting in a drab setting. The opposite can be said for the more upbeat scenes which display brighter colors and cheerful music. A moment where this use of cinematography is shown is the scene discussing Ray and his wife’s divorce. The scene was shot in a dimly lit house and the slow yet effective acting gave this portion of the film a disheartening mood.

Even though this film is deserving of praise, you will most likely finish the movie with a bad taste in your mouth. ‘The Founder’ comes to the bleak conclusion of Ray Kroc’s success while leaving the true geniuses, Mac and Dick, in the dust. The film does a great job of capturing the bond held between the two brothers which humanizes them, causing most viewers to feel sympathetic for them.

The McDonald brothers first bring Ray into their business for a tour. They quickly show him the ropes of their nifty fast-food operation without realizing that they have invited a snake into their garden. The brothers’ business partnership with Kroc was not in their best interest. Kroc, wanting to do whatever he could to grow the chain, institutes methods to speed up food production, such as the use of frozen beef patties and powdered milkshakes. Going against the Mcdonald’s brother’s will, Kroc slowly but surely changes the once self-contained labor of love into a mega-corporation that lacks personality.  

Anybody who is seeking something out of the ordinary to watch on Netflix should consider “The Founder.” This movie is able to tell an emotional and brutally realistic story about a man’s crooked path to success. The film does not intend to come off as an inspiring business story, but rather an interesting tale of the business world.  

Grade: A-