Review: Ratatouille (RATING:10/10)20 November, 2007
So people had been raving about Ratatouille ever since it came out in early summer. Unfortunately I had never had time to watch it, either in theaters or on DVD. Until now. And I am so glad that I did. I thought it was an incredible movie: its script, its visuals, its music, even its morals. The last is really hard to avoid in a Disney movie, but often it’s very heavy-handed, and this was not, by any means. But more on that later. The movie, to start, was beautiful. There were scenes in every sort of weather — fog, rain, sun, etc. — and they all looked perfectly real. I noticed the fog especially, as the play of light on the main characters, or from the stained-glass windows of Notre Dame, looked both accurate and very pleasing to the eye. There were so many zooming shots of Paris, and it just made me want to go back there again (although, whether that’s an affect of the movie or just the city is hard to tell).
The plot was great, too. I mean, a rat cooking? Very weird, but awesome, nonetheless. And things don’t quite work out the way you think they are going to, it’s really not formulaic at all. I don’t really want to give away too much of the story, but there are certain scenes that I think are worth the price of admission (or rental, or internet download time). For example, twice in the movie, Rémy (the french rat chef) is describing tastes, and sounds and color patterns surround him, equivalent to the tastes he is talking about. It actually reminded me a lot of some Jim Henson animations I had seen earlier (which I unfortunately can’t find a link to online), with synchronised color and sound. This added another sense—taste. The script as well was very clever and entertaining, well-written enough for a 20-year old at least (and the world knows we are hard to please). So many jokes, references, it was one of the best animated movies I’ve seen in a long time.
And now for the morals. The main lesson of this movie is said by its villain, actually, near the end. “But I realise only now that I truly understand what [Chef Gusteau] meant [by the motto “Anyone can cook”]. Not everyone can become a great artist, but a great artist can come from anywhere.” I really like this, for personal reasons that I’m not going to go into in this blog, but also as it stands on its own. It doesn’t give anyone illusions like movies so often do — it’s not “You can do anything you put your mind to” or anything like that — but it’s really just saying that expectations aren’t everything. Just because someone doesn’t come from a certain background, or have certain experience, doesn’t mean they can’t do something (in this case, cook). And I think that’s really meaningful. And again, it doesn’t drive it into you, but rather says it in a soft, comforting voice, and you completely agree with the movie.
So go rent this movie. I loved it, and hopefully you will too.
(This review will be archived on the Reviews section of my blog, for future reference.)