The Founder (2016) is one of the most important movies ever made. It is a crash course in why the world is the way it is; an indictment of an age of crass commercialism and hucksters pretending to be visionaries. By telling the true story of Ray A. Kroc, the "Godfather" of modern franchising as we know it, director John Lee Hancock and writer Robert Siegel lay open the story of modern America, globalization, and why we live in a world that rewards sales people and ostracizes the majority of dreamers and visionaries.
The Founder beautifully and clearly tells the story of Ray A. Kroc, the McDonald brothers, and the birth of one of the most successful businesses in the history of mankind. It also tries to set the record straight on who deserves the credit for what, in the long and convoluted story of McDonald's, and puts Kroc and his disciples under the harsh light of truth, revealing them for what they truly are: flawed, ambitious men, who build empires on the shoulders of visionaries and then try to bury them and steal their thunder.
But aside from the film's success as a smoothly structured history lesson, The Founder is also grand entertainment, with a terrific and terrifically complex performance by Michael Keaton as Kroc. While the supporting cast, which includes Nick Offerman, Laura Dern, and Patrick Wilson among others, create memorable and fascinating portrayals of characters that the world and the history books have unfairly forgotten.
All in all, The Founder is one of the best films of its kind, and one which begs for repeated viewings. Unmissable.
Text © Ahmed Khalifa. 2017