“Flux Gourmet” centers around a trio of culinary collectives in residence at the Sonic Catering Institute run by Jan Stevens (Gwendoline Christie). What do they do? Well, if it’s not clear from the name of the institute, they make a symphony out of sounds created almost exclusively from food. Lamina Propria (Ariane Labed) and Billy Rubin (Asa Butterfield) are the ones responsible for cutting the fruits and vegetables, and mixing them, literally or via various gadgets. Elle di Elle (Fatma Mohamed), who is kind of the leader of the group, arranges the music and then bases her interpretive performance around it. All of this is being recorded by an outsider named Stones (Makis Papdimitriou), who ironically suffers from gastrointestinal issues and is being examined by the in-house gastroenterologist, Dr. Glock (Richard Bremmer).
Here’s a brief summary of everything that happens, leading up to the final act. Cracks start to form between Elle, Lamina, and Billy due to their creative differences. Now, these creative differences are a result of Elle’s non-collaborative attitude and also because of Jan Stevens’s manipulation. A group called The Mangrove Snacks constantly torments the band and Jan, causing the overall tension to hit a boiling point. Elle becomes increasingly interested in Stones’ gastrointestinal problems, while her teammates keep telling her to leave him alone. Stones delivers a stool sample to Dr. Glock, and it seems that Elle collects it in a container. Stones interviews Lamina, where she essentially describes her whole life story, and her strained dynamic with Elle. And that leads to the last performance that Elle, Lamina, and Billy do as a team.
Elle Fakes Her Most “Controversial” Performance
As mentioned before, it seems like Elle takes Stones’ stool sample and puts it in a container. During the performance, she shocks everyone by holding that container in her open palms, thereby hinting that she’s going to use it. And, well, that’s what she does. She smears it all over her face and her body while laughing maniacally. In a voice-over, Stones explains that he was too afraid to go through with the public colonoscopy (as a part of the band’s performance). So, Elle used his stool sample in her “scatological performance.” But, the truth of the matter is that the thing that Elle slathers herself with isn’t Stones’ stool. It is chocolate mousse. This piece of information is leaked to the public by Technical Assistant Wim (Leo Bill), thereby creating the image that Elle is a deceiver.
So, as explained by Stones, this causes a rift between Elle, Billy, and Lamina. He assumes that in order to regain their lost pride, they are going to try to do a public colonoscopy on him again and do it for real this time. However, a problem arises. They arrive for rehearsal only to see that their entire room has been vandalized with a terrapin in a blender and the words “The Patrons Are All Criminals” written on a table. Stones assumes that the Mangrove Snacks are behind it, and Jan Stevens promptly agrees with him. She says that she has already called the police, and they are going to take the fingerprints and nab the vandals. When Stevens zeroes in on the flanger (something that Stevens has been asking Elle to remove from their performance), Elle thinks it’s a conspiracy to control her and her band.
Elle, Billy, And Lamina Find Out Jan Stevens’s Big Secret
One night, Billy goes to Jan’s room (because they are having an affair). They go over the terms and conditions of their relationship and how or if they are going to maintain it once the residency is over. When Billy insinuates that it’s not going to work out, Jan throws a whole fit, and they basically break up. The following day, Stones goes ahead with the public colonoscopy, while realizing that he has sacrificed something as private as his own body for the sake of art. Before going to sleep, Elle tries to spark a conversation with Stones, but he shoos her away. She turns her attention to Billy and asks her about the flanger. When Billy says that such an investigation takes time, Elle reiterates that the vandalism was Jan’s doing so that she could take the flanger and make them perform the way she wanted them to.
Lamina says that Elle’s theory is a reach, but Elle says that none of the items from the crime scene that Jan said would be bagged for fingerprint testing were taken except for the flanger. To confirm it, the three of them (dressed in black leotards) break into Jan’s mansion. They go into her room and find a birdcage in there. What’s in it? That’s right! The flanger. But that’s not the worst thing that they find out. When they shift their attention to the hallway in front of them, they see Jan sleeping with the policeman she says she had called to investigate the vandalism. It pretty much confirms that she is the one behind the sabotage. Or, even if she isn’t the one to hire The Mangrove Snacks to tamper with Elle and her team, she surely is stopping the police from investigating it because it’s momentarily benefiting her.
‘Flux Gourmet’s Ending Explained: Does Elle Fake Her Own Death? If So, Why?
During an interview with Stones, Lamina says that Elle has a habit of reinventing the past and using it to gain people’s sympathy instead of confronting her guilt and risking people’s anger. Later, Elle, Lamina, and Billy rehearse with Jan, and this time Stones joins them too. The next day, Dr. Glock informs Stones that he is suffering from celiac disease, an immune reaction to eating gluten. So, in order to avoid any gastrointestinal problems, he has to avoid eating instant wheat, bread, pasta, beer, pastries, and Christmas pudding. While the team prepares for their next performance, Stones wonders about the social impact of this diet and how people are going to think that he’s being overdramatic. Talking about being overdramatic, Jan returns the flanger, and that causes Elle to throw a bit of a hissy fit.
The scene shifts to the dinner party, where Lamina announces that she’s going to leave the group and go solo. Elle scoffs at that idea, and Lamina assures her that she’ll fare fine without her “guidance.” Billy says that he’s going to leave too because if Lamina is going, then there’s no point in staying with Elle. While a couple of mimes aim their sniper rifle at Jan, Elle accuses her of orchestrating this whole thing so that the band falls apart. When Elle tries to attack Jan, the mime shoots her down, and she apparently breathes her last before getting to complete the name she had thought for her band. Billy and Lamina conduct their graduation performance, with Stones joining in as a part of the team. When the audience claps for them, we clearly see Elle standing there, alive and well, applauding with everyone else.
The reason behind Elle faking her own death is essentially explained in Lamina’s interview with Stones. She isn’t ready to accept the fact that she’s the reason behind the band’s internal rifts. She is a self-proclaimed “auteur,” and she isn’t ready to collaborate with anyone else. So, instead, she pins it all on Jan. Now, Jan is to blame for manipulating Billy and for lying to them about the vandalism. And she hasn’t been on good terms with Elle from the get-go. That’s why it’s safe to assume that Elle’s the one behind The Mangrove Snacks, and she has been pestering Jan with those prank calls. It isn’t clear why she uses them to torment her band. Maybe to keep them on edge? Anyway, when Elle sees that everyone is against her, she dies in front of everyone, thereby scarring them for life and causing them to dedicate their final performance to her out of sympathy. She keeps them on that thin line between mental torment and utter devotion, i.e., the ideal fuel to create art.
“Flux Gourmet” is a 2022 Drama Thriller film directed by Peter Strickland.