Saturday, June 30, 2007
Ratatouille a sensual, artful pot au feu from Brad Bird and Pixar
Indirectly, it accuses the non-gourmet world of being garbage eaters. I think that might include the majority of Americans. So, how is Disney going to sell a tale of such lofty integrity?
Curiously, "Anyone can cook," is one of the movie's messages. I know this is true, because as a social studies teacher I have seen many international dishes brought to class by students who were first-timers. I think many Americans might modify that rule to "Anyone can cook who doesn't have the money to stop by the deli or phone a decent restaurant for take-out."
Remy, the little chef, is a super hero only intermittently. He is mostly a quiet lad hampered by existential doubt. And most of the figures in his world, like his rodent family members, are ambiguous: they are both good and bad.
The equally-conflicted human hero, Alfredo, becomes a puppet of the prescient rat so that they can be a cooking team. Alfredo becomes a royal spastic reminiscent of a Charlie Chaplin figure.
Ratatouille's an hour and fifty minutes of subtle fun. Please see it and tell me what you think.