Saturday, June 30, 2007

Ratatouille Review

Ratatouille is the best film I've seen in a long time. While the images were great on their own that isn't good enough by itself to make a great film. The story has heart and soul. It is not a summer blockbuster type film and that is just fine. It is a story that is very moral. Yes, the good guys lie and cheat and steal trying to do the best for themselves, but it is only after they confess and make amends that their true abilities come forth. 

Reme just wants to have food that tastes good but his abilities were about more then being just a food sniffer or even a chef. Linguine just wanted to keep his job. They weren't losers, just not in the right place doing the right things for them. 

After Reme gets separated from his family as they try to escape from a shotgun wielding little old lady riding a cookbook he ends up in the sewers of Paris, though he doesn't know it yet. We see a wonderful set of vignettes introducing us to Paris before the big reveal at the top.

It is the astonishing attention to detail that is most brilliant thing about Pixar. We come into a world that feels like it existed before the movie starts and will continue beyond the end, but not as an obvious sequel bait or happily ever after, just life continuing on.

That was one of the most disappointing parts of the Star Wars prequels it was lots of fun but had no depth like this or The Lord of the Rings.

The food was brilliant, they took cooking lessons and it showed. We were so hungry afterwards but chose to do something better then the standard fast food burger joint. They really understand foodies; food is more then fuel and it was amazing how well they were able to translate that to the big screen. The climatic shot captured it completely, it was beautiful. 

Not everyone is a foodie, that is okay, though we have a friend who grow up in a family where they called a three course meal, meat, potatoes and a vegetable. Usually it was just a single food item like hamburger or potato. 

It has heart and the characters are deep and complex, far more so then is usual. The character development time is well spent, it is not an action feature and don't even try confusing it with one. Though the big chase scene with Skinner chasing Reme across Paris was great, that bit with the tablecloth was choice.

I loved the characters, Colette was great a tough, no-holes barred up-and-comer, with real heart.

The pivotal character was Alton "The Grim Reaper" Ego, food critic. He just comes on scene at the very end but even then he steals it completely. It is amazing what the power of love can do. 

I highly recommend this film and plan on buying it later.

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