The Feature Quality of “The Founder”


Bruce J. Marlin

Audrey Cook, Managing Editor and Student Life Editor

McDonald’s has become a staple of American culture and an ever-increasing aspect of other cultures around the world. According to Wikipedia, there are more than 14,000 McDonald’s in the U.S. alone and more than 36,000 McDonald’s restaurants worldwide. Therefore, American McDonald’s make up more than ⅓ of the world’s McDonald’s. McDonald’s employs more than 420,000 people worldwide, but have you considered how this massive franchise made it to be the 68th largest economy in the world?

The recently released feature film, The Founder, starring Michael Keaton and directed by John Lee Hancock, has captured the intensely capitalistic spirit of McDonald’s and conveyed a story that pinpoints the dangers of greed and the sacrifices made by small-town business around the country to appease the money-making mad men of our day and age. The Founder follows the true story of Mac and Dick McDonald, two entrepreneurs who redefined the structure of fast food and catalyzed the modern American way of eating out. They are approached by Ray Kroc, a middle-aged man who wants to franchise the small-town restaurant and finally fulfill his dream of kick-starting something visionary. The rest of the film is yours to discover.

I found this film to be utterly compelling and quite unique. I personally didn’t know the story of the franchise before viewing, so the film came as a breath of fresh air and a warning against the dangers of greed and dissatisfaction. It kept my attention the whole way through, and it was incredibly informative without lacking interest. My only complaint was the several offbeat segments of nonfiction photos and videos. They tended to take me out of the moment and distracted from the characters at the center of the film. However, some people may enjoy the added bits of factual photography and videography or may not even notice them at all. This film is one of great intellectual substance, and I would highly recommend it to anyone who appreciates a true story artistically recreated.