August 12, 2007

From Le Monde

A rough translation from the original:

The sight of a rodent in a kitchen seldom causes enthusiasm. At best, if one makes of them a small mouse with the large liquid eyes which tries to escape a cat, one obtains the frantic continuations of Tom and Jerry. But a rat? And a rat which insists to grope food? Beurk!

One needs insurance for the house Pixar, supplier of numerical dreams since 1995, to decide to devote so many resources to this idea: the rat become chef. Afterwards many adventures, this concept was entrusted to Brad Bird who in made a film of a sumptuous richness - one of large gastronomical films of the history of the cinema, an often funny burlesque comedy, and especially an apology for the individual creation of an unexpected strength.

Lastly, not so unexpected that that. Ratatouille is only the third full-length film of Bird, but the realizer of the Iron Giant (traditional animation, left in 1999) and of Indestructibles (numerical film carried out for Pixar in 2004) is enough obsessional to have imposed his topics and his manner in three master strokes.

Here, the superman who must make prevail his singularity on his pars and his enemies calls Remi. Its membership of the Rattus kind heavily handicaps the aspiration which tortures it to become a large cook. Remi lives with his many family (it is one of the easy ways of the Ratatouille scenario which to respect many the laws of the zoology) in a country house. While its congeneric makes the dustbins to regale putrid waste, Remi seeks the finest ingredients, despizing discretion which the life of rat requires normally. Nature endowed with a taste and a sense of smell of an acuity out of the commun run (here for the innate one) which pushed it to learn how to read (and here is for the asset), in the pages of a book of receipts, works of the culinary prophet Emile Gusteau now disappeared.

The gastronomical escapades of Remi end up causing the awaited catastrophe: its tribe is forced with the exodus. And the sequence which shows the rats fleeing masses of them their country paradise under cloudburst evokes the feeling of panic and despair which seized with the vision of certain plans of the War of the Worlds of Spielberg.

Carried by the floods of the French river system, then by the sewers of a metropolis, Remi fails in the kitchen of a Parisian restaurant which was that of Gusteau and is today with the hands of Skinner, a mercenary who wastes the heritage of the founder by multiplying the derived products - chips, tacos and other variations on the topic of the junk food.

At the same time as Remi, a young man who aspires to becoming cook made irruption in the kitchen of the restaurant. With the pans, Emile does not show any talent and profits, initially without his knowledge, of the talents of Escoffier of the rodents. The way in which alliance between the kitchen boy and the little rat is sealed makes a dazzling scenaristic pirouette, put in scene with delicacy on the edges of the Seine, not very far from the place where Gene Kelly courted Leslie Charon in An American in Paris. Ratatouille testifies with our capital and with the French imagery sincere, nourished affection at the same time culture and phantasms, which was that of certain Hollywood productions one half-century ago.

Symbiosis between the man and the animal gives again with the noble kitchen all its rights in the old restaurant of Gusteau. But Remi and Emile must face at the same time the schemes of Skinner and the pitiless judgement of the gastronomical critic Anton Ego. These obstacles will justify some continuations dishevelled in the streets of oneiric Paris, which alternate with spectacular culinary sequences. The quality of the synthesized image reaches in Ratatouille of the tops without precedents. All know-how acquired to make shine chromiums of Bus, to make move the grass bits of 1001 Legs passes here in the re-creation of mets of choice, of ingredients to make dream most demanding of the cooks (while testifying to the very new influence of the high-class cooking on imaginary American).

To know how to reconcile the presence of a rat in kitchen and the rules of the Parisian services of the hygiene (represented here by an inspector of the name of Pompidou), to discover how Emile will reconcile his love of the restoration and his incapacity to make cook an egg with the dish, how Remi his double condition of parasitic rodent and artist, and for good of other good reasons, it will assume is necessary to go to see Ratatouille.


Blogger First Sea Lord said...

La plume noir est sur lat table- je parle Francais, mais un peu.

August 13, 2007 at 10:39 AM  

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