Benji In ‘The Kitchen’ Explained: Was Izi Benji’s Father?



In the dystopian setting of The Kitchen, where societal divisions are stark, we witness the lives of individuals in The Kitchen and the elite enclave of Buena Vida. Staples, the leader of a gang, plays a pivotal role in maintaining order in The Kitchen, ensuring survival for minority communities. Amidst this, the film focuses on the character Benji and his intricate relationships with Staples and Izi.


Benji’s Bond with Staples

Before Benji’s encounter with Izi, he found solace in Staples’ gang after his living situation became untenable following his mother’s death. Staples provided him with a sense of family and purpose, appreciating his skills in dismantling a police drone. Life seemed vibrant in The Kitchen—riding bikes, meeting interesting people, and even a romantic connection. However, when Staples demanded Benji participate in a raid at Buena Vida, Benji realized he wasn’t cut out for the anarchic lifestyle Staples led.

Surprisingly, the film avoids demonizing Staples, highlighting the necessity of his actions for the survival of The Kitchen. To young Benji, Staples’ rebellious ways may have seemed like an outlet for his complex emotions, but the harsh reality soon became apparent. Benji, still in the early chapters of life, failed the test laid out by Staples, leaving room for growth and learning.


Izi and Benji

Enter Izi, a character with a significant influence on Benji’s life. Izi fit the description of Benji’s possibly deceased father, according to Toni Clarke, Benji’s mother. Concerned about Staples’ influence, Izi took Benji under his wing, assuming a fatherly role. He steered Benji away from trouble, provided necessities, and prepared him for a job at the futuristic funeral place, Life After Life.

Despite the mentorship, a conflict arose. Izi’s dream of moving to Buena Vida clashed with his responsibility toward Benji. Having booked a single-accommodation flat before Benji entered his life, Izi faced a dilemma. He chose the flat over Benji, abandoning the young man in a restaurant, a heartbreaking moment for both.


Biological Connection or Not

The film intriguingly avoids explicitly answering whether Izi is Benji’s biological father. After Izi’s reunion with Benji and an apology marked by a symbolic plant, it became evident that there was a connection. Izi, not known for sentimentality, transformed in his interaction with Benji, treating him like a son.

When Benji directly asked if Izi was his father, the answer remained uncertain. Izi’s relationship with Toni, whether long-term or fleeting, remained a mystery. Despite the ambiguity, Izi was willing to make amends, recognizing Benji’s dependence on him. The film portrays Izi’s readiness to be the father figure Benji needed, regardless of biological ties.

In the end, The Kitchen unfolds as a story of relationships, complexities, and the willingness to step into roles that provide support and guidance, even if not bound by blood.


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