Wednesday, 27 November 2013

Documentary Day 2! McDonalds

A while ago I did a Documentary Day (Catfish, Exit Through The Gift Shop). Since then, besides Fahrenheit 9/11, I've hardly touched the genre here. So I thought I'd do it again! Documentary Day 2!

Food. It is one of the few things that humans NEED to survive. It is something that can be done in so many different varieties, that business that are completely dedicated to food are some of the most loved and most profitable in the world. The need for food opened a spot on the market for the meal for the person on the move. Some fast food, if you will. But how bad really is fast food for you? Morgan Spurlock investigates in Super Size Me.

Morgan is a healthy man with a vegan chef girlfriend and a good exercise routine. Not all Americans are like Morgan. Some Americans eat McDonalds once a day or more. When McDonalds was sued for making two teenage girls extremely overweight, Morgan asks, how bad can it really be. Spoiler alert. Pretty bad. But we knew that right? Morgan sets himself a challenge to eat McDonalds for every breakfast, lunch, and dinner every day for thirty days. He will only go for the super size if he is offered it. He gets himself checked out by all the relevant doctors and dieticians before ploughing ahead, confidently, into his challenge. What follows is a little shocking but thoroughly enjoyable ride into one of the largest health problems in the world, let alone America.

Shocking enough to make your heart stop. 

Released in 2004, Super Size Me remains extremely relevant even today. With confident doctors on his side, Morgan's diet seems not to be a worry. But, after building a relationship with Morgan, the audience begin to see him deteriorate in health - from him throwing up his first super sized meal, to chest pains. It, honestly, is scary. This food that is everywhere takes Morgan, his girlfriends, the doctors, the dietician, and the audience by surprise. Not only this, but Morgan looks into obesity in other aspects of American society as well, such as school dinners and the actual running of individual McDonalds' branches. What he discovers along the way is bound to make you shiver and gasp as his realisations get made known to us. However, it may still make you hungry. 

The Last (Healthy) Supper

What is it about the fast food world that is so addictive? Morgan explains his feelings and emotions at relevant stages in his investigation, keeping the audience in total understanding of his own body, as well as the general public of America with statistics and facts. He slams the organisation of McDonalds and even leaves your mouth hanging open at the end, not with drool, but with shock. Is the McSalad a healthy option? Do not be so sure, Super Size Me claims. Try and find the nutritional information in your local McDonalds next time you pop in (if you dare) and if you can find it, take it in. Realise this film presents a scary reality that surrounds us all, no matter where you are. The probability is there is a McDonalds within walking distance from you right now. Think of the Happy Meal, aimed at kids, to get them eating the McDonalds food from a young age, bribing them with toys, and sometimes, play parks.

A shocking and absorbing documentary. It takes you on an uncomfortable, but arguably needed, journey. Will you stop eating McDonalds forever? Probably not. It is still very tasty, a fact that Morgan never denies. But after the release of the film, the Super Size option vanished from McDonalds. If that does not suggest the importance of this film, I do not know what would.

Best Bit? Meeting Don, the man who has eaten nearly 20,000 Big Macs. Passion like his is unparalleled. 

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