Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Ratatouille (movie review)

The food critic, mirroring a film critic, delivers the moral of this film: anyone might be a cook (film director, great actor... food critic). What that means is: not everyone is born to do just anything, but anyone you meet might be a genius in ways that surprise you.

How this movie teaches its lesson is by setting up a lot of interspecies bigotry (not hard, as it's real, at least on the human side), with the crossover being quality food, in which members of both species are true believers, but this one rat in particular: he has the right stuff.

Although a kids' cartoon, I found ways to piggyback my adult reveries, about kings and queens and their inner circles 'n stuff. The word "democracy" is still echoing from Michael Moore's latest (a certain UKer was most eloquent about it), and the Quaker idea of "that of God in each and every" -- easily mappable, as a maxim, to "the genius light within" or St. Augustine's "inner teacher."

The rats inhabit a kind of Hades, a netherworld. Remy overcomes his misanthropy enough to actually become one of "them" (joined in his loneliness by his idol, one recently departed) if, that is, you think looking out a man's hat, puppeting his limbs, might just be a metaphor about the mind-body relationship ("naw, Disney? Philosophical?" chuckle). Think "rat = homunculus" in this case an ego dealing with class and personality complexes (shades of Flushed Away).

This was a family outing, with Tara to my immediate right, then Julie and Carol. Later we split up a bit, me heading to Men's Warehouse (redeem a coupon, shirts for Vilnius), Tara to American Eagle, Carol and Julie wandering an old haunt. We rendezvoused at the ice cream stand just outside Macy's, Carol's treat, and drove home.

My thanks to Tara for filling my iPod with a lot of good music. Tonight's listening: Blue October: Into the Ocean, Hate Me (Tara and I agree there's a lot of talent here).