PLOT- Based on the true story of Ray Kroc (Michael Keaton), a down-on-his-luck milkshake appliance salesman, who met the McDonald brothers; Dic (Nick Offerman) and Mac (John Carroll Lynch), and recognized the genius behind their successful hamburger stand. Kroc see the inventiveness of their assembly-line style kitchen and convinces the brothers that he is the one who can help them franchise their brand.
The brothers are skeptical and reluctant, but they eventually sign a contract with Kroc. Kroc works tirelessly to establish McDonald's as a world-wide brand, yet the tension between himself and the brother's increases. The brothers are fearful of the rapid growth and simply want to run their original stand, while Kroc feels that his expansion of the brand should entitle him to the fame and fortune of McDonalds, and when the brothers don't give it to him, Kroc simply takes it.
LIKE- Ray Kroc is a fascinating character. He embodies many qualities that are admirable, such as tenacity and dedication. Kroc works endlessly to grow McDonalds. He's clearly the hardest worker in the company, never taking a break from his McDonald's obsession. Kroc constantly believes that his life can be bigger, and is always working harder and reaching higher. He is chasing his American dream.
When Kroc first meets Dic and Mac, it's with a sense of awe. He wants to be a part of their success, and initially, he's not against working as a team. However, he soon realizes that their goals are not aligned with his, and that they don't have the same big dreams. When they begin to impede his progress, his tactics change. Kroc becomes sneaky and figures out ways in which he can legally grow his control over the McDonald's empire. It may be legal, but he knows that he's being devious and undercutting the brother, who are very trusting in nature.
By the end of The Founder, we see Kroc take complete control of the company in a way that is blatantly dishonest. He buys out the brothers for a small sum, convinces them to do a hand shake deal for royalty rights ( the bulk of the money in which they were entitled) that he does not honor, and calls himself the founder of the chain. He erases them from the history of McDonalds and builds a mythology that puts himself at the center of its creation. The most heartbreaking, is the brothers are allowed to keep their original restaurant in San Bernadino, but they must rename it, and soon, Kroc builds a McDonald's across the street, forcing them to close. Kroc also cheats on his wife and makes sure that she doesn't get any of the McDonald's fortune in the divorce, money he was acquiring during their marriage. Kroc transitions from a man with big dreams, to an egotistical villain.
The afterwords mentions that McDonald's currently serves 1% of the world's popular every day. That blows my mind. The brothers ask Kroc why he didn't just steal their production ideas and open his own restaurant. Kroc explains that the name McDonald's was wholesome and clean, in a way that Kroc is not. However, that's not it. Kroc was never interested in owning a restaurant, he was interested in taking what was an already proven success and growing it. He had already seen his fare share of bad luck, and this time, he was going to put his hard work behind a winner. The Founder isn't about fast food, it's about who owns the rights to claim a successful business? The person who comes up with the original idea or the person who grows it into something else? Who has the right to claim the lion share of the glory? If you don't feel like you're getting what's owed to you, is it ever okay to just take it?
DISLIKE- Nothing. The Founder is captivating and the type of movie that had people gasping in shock during my screening.
RECOMMEND- Yes! The Founder has an excellent script and great ensemble cast. The Founder is throughly entertaining and surprising.