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Roadrunner: A Film About Anthony Bourdain; Morgan Neville Does it Again! Grade: B+

Roadrunner: A Film About Anthony Bourdain is a documentary centering around the life of chef, writer, and TV Host for food, culture, and travel. In this documentary we’ll be learning all about Anthony Bourdain from humble beginnings, to triumph in fame, as well as his own personal life regarding the highs and lows.

Morgan Neville director of this documentary previous film Won’t You Be My Neighbor? centering around Fred Rogers, perhaps was loved by mostly everyone including myself as it’s my second favorite documentary of all time. Easily without a doubt is the biggest Oscar snub in the history of the Oscars hands down, the fact it didn’t get nominated alone is an utter disgrace. So of course I was really looking forward to Morgan Neville’s follow up to that documentary.

Roadrunner: A Film About Anthony Bourdain style wise t’was lovely. Enjoyed all the found footage sequences, there are some lovely visuals as Anthony got to travel and truly experience just about every inch of walking life.

Substance wise…. Consistently interesting, while also delivering some knock out punches regarding such great dialogue moments that hit hard within your soul. Anthony Bourdain perhaps is a figure in which truly live his life to the fullest and mostly everyone that came across with Anthony loved the kind hearted soul, that was fond of humanity and such. I mean for one whom was once a line cook, then turned out to be a well known public figure… The transition was extraordinary, as it did felt like it happened over night. It made sense for one like Anthony to receive such success: Had a gifted mind that translated well on pen, but also he just had that persona in which people can find some kind of enjoyment with regards to his presence. Anthony made an impact on just about everyone and did truly cared about people.

While it felt like on the outside Anthony Bourdain was full of life and the happiest guy around, on the inside he was very troubled as he couldn’t comprehend as to why is that? I mean you look at his lifestyle and how everyone adored the guy, but unfortunately he felt entirely alone even when he has people around him, he just feels unfulfilled and just couldn’t get out of it. I can relate to one like Anthony who lives a good life and is adored by many people, however on the inside I can at times feel troubled, alone, and can’t find fulfillment in my own existence. That’s what happens along the lines of Depression… No one and not even you can’t find any answers of why you feel emptiness, no matter how good your life can be, you just can’t figure it out and it flat out sucks.

When it comes to Anthony dealing with this emptiness, we see him and a psychiatrist talk it out, however it’s done on camera. But later on we’re hearing how Anthony doesn’t actually ever reach out for help, as he continues on this feeling of unfulfillment. I do believe because of his TV persona and how he’s been around the entire world, he doesn’t reach out because it doesn’t feel genuine to him in a way. Don’t get me wrong I believe people whom were closely associated with Anthony were good and caring people, but when you come across all walks and life, see how people live and such, you start thinking that people honestly don’t give a flying damn about anyone or anything as long as there is something for them. I know experiencing other countries in a way and seeing how people live in their own situation really got into his head, as it dearly troubled him in a way as is a person filled with humanity, as maybe his mind learned that people don’t truly care about humanity the way they should, realizing that heck people don’t care about me either so I’m really am alone.

When it comes to the finale of this film, it’s deeply saddening as what happens to Anthony in his life going forward. Your heart honestly aches as it felt like he put all these chips in one basket, hoping that this would be his one and only chance at pure happiness, that this was his saving grace. I mean the involvement in which Anthony does for his significant other, especially him putting so much time and energy into that, that he even cuts off his own friends for it. But unfortunately… Anthony was left with heartbreak and I mean REAL heartbreak, as his own world just ultimately crashes right before his eyes. That feeling of hoping this is your final chance of feeling fulfilled and it just didn’t turn out the way you hope for, after all the work and effort you put into it?! It’s hard to recover from that, especially in Anthony’s circumstance.

This is one of those films in which really digs deep onto life, regardless if you’re dealing the worst in life or the best in life, life within itself can be a difficult challenge indeed if you’re not feeling entirely well mentally. Although this can appear to be a saddening watch mostly in the third act, the life of Anthony Bourdain without a doubt is a life worth exploring because of what he did as a person. Like this man truly lived life to the fullest, had an outgoing persona, and knew just how to entertained the walks of life. This film can also be used to learn some valuable lessons about life, as the strong dialogue moments really hit hard. Especially when Anthony Bourdain consulting with fans out and about, as a friend of him doesn’t know just how he does it. As Bourdain would say, “Heck if all I have to do is just greet these fans, it sure beats being a dead end lone cook.” That should be every single celebrity’s mindset.

Anthony Bourdain: What a Man, What a Life.

Overall, Roadrunner: A Film About Anthony Bourdain was a pretty damn good film. I highly recommend checking this one out, one of the better films out in theaters right now. -Mitch Smietana

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