Roadrunner: A film about anthony Bourdain Review

Roadrunner: A Film About Anthony Bourdain' Review: Salt, Sugar and No Fat -  The New York Times

“You learn a lot about someone when you share a meal together.”
—Anthony Bourdain

From director Morgan Neville comes a beautifully crafted documentary on the life of Anthony Bourdain, both on the road and off. While watching Roadrunner: A Film About Anthony Bourdain I felt like I was sharing a meal with Bourdain himself. The film had me deep in thought remembering what I love about the character that was Anthony Bourdain, although it also had me often asking myself why his life ended so early and wondering whether there will ever be answers to this question. But despite the devastating shock all fans felt at the end of Bourdain’s life, through Roadrunner: A Film About Anthony Bourdain Morgan Neville allows us to see all the amazing characteristics that Bourdain offered the world.
The film starts with the approach of Bourdain’s career, and it progresses through his many levels of success. The film often jumps between positive and sad moments, and in this amazing yet emotional journey many of his friends and family come forward to tell us about their experiences with Bourdain —including his wife Ottavia, his friends David Chang, Eric Ripert, David Choe, and many more. Neville’s approach to this documentary is to find light in Bourdain’s life, but to also help us understand that despite Bourdain’s success and the opportunities he had, money and fame does not necessarily buy one happiness. Bourdain had a lot going on in his amazing mind and there is no definite answer as to why he was not doing well at the end of his life.
In Roadrunner: A Film About Anthony Bourdain, Neville does start to help us through our grief, though, and he gives us some understanding as to why Bourdain struggled. And the film ultimately turns our despair into hope, because it reminds us of the good Bourdain did. Bourdain was a man who experienced the true cultures of the places where he traveled. He was a good father, a storyteller, a writer, and he was not afraid to put himself out there and take risks. Roadrunner: A Film About Anthony Bourdain should remind us to not be afraid to try new things, to travel to different countries, or to expose ourselves to places or things we’re not used to. Bourdain tried all kinds of weird foods and he saw lots of poverty, but among those difficult situations he always found the value in the many countries he visited.
Neville’s poetic directing of Roadrunner: A Film About Anthony Bourdain will have its audience feeling a range of emotions, from shock to sadness to happiness as Bourdain’s life is unraveled in the film. I found myself laughing out loud at the fun moments of the film, but the more difficult parts made me realize why some may find life challenging, and we start to understand why Bourdain may have had challenges. Ultimately, the message it should leave us is to not give up, and to remember that there is help available in our hard times.
Bourdain was a role model to me for many years, starting in 2013 with Parts Unknown, Bourdain’s hit CNN travel show. I was already getting into the theatre and arts culture of Chicago, and Bourdain’s Parts Unknown got me hooked on the idea of travel both in the states and internationally. But it was not just travel for the sake of tourism that interested me in the show, it was Bourdain’s insight into the different societies, countries, and cultures he experienced. Bourdain wanted to share what was worthy in the places he went, and he told us why we should be not just tourists, but travelers.
For me, Roadrunner: A Film About Anthony Bourdain tops the charts for 2021 films thus far. After a tumultuous 2020 year of little to no good movies, this one was just triumphant. I connected to this film so much and seeing Bourdain and his friends inspired me to always go out and live life to the fullest. Bourdain’s death leaves us with a ton of questions, and we may never know the whole story, but his legacy will always be with us. Four stars for Roadrunner: A Film About Anthony Bourdain.


2 thoughts on “Roadrunner: A film about anthony Bourdain Review”

  1. I wouldn’t consider myself a true fan of Bourdain but your review has left me wanting to watch Roadrunner ! Great writeup Tarek !!


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