Wednesday, 11 January 2017

Film Review: Ratatouille (2007) - 'The Hero's Journey'

Ratatouille is a 2007 animated film directed by Brad Bird and produced by Pixar. The film follows the story of a young rat who lives in the French countryside and has a large interest in cooking, when he and his colony are discovered they flee into the sewers and Remy is separated. Remy soon finds a hopeless chef Linguini and the two quickly become a team allowing both of them to achieve greatness in the highly acclaimed restaurant. Ratatouille is an excellent example of the use of 'The Hero's Journey' by Joseph Cambell

The Call to Adventure starts when Remy and his brother Emile break into an old woman's house for food, the tv flickers on in the background and shows an advertisement of the chef Gusteau, which instantly catches Remy's eye. His love for food and cooking begins here, and he keeps returning to the old woman's house, begins to read Gusteau's book, and learns to cook.

However these trips result in the old woman catching the rats red-pawed and after a manic incident with a large shotgun, Remy's entire colony is forced out of their home and swept into the sewers. Remy becomes separated and ends up alone in a sewer. As Remy waited and sulked under the sewers, his imagination conjures up and imaginary friend in the form of the chef Gusteau, who encourages to go up and look, this then begins the Refusal to the Call as he does not listen to Gusteau and stays in the sewer.

This figment of his imagination being the dead chef Gusteau acts as this story's Supernatural Aid, his encouragement and guidance helps Remy get up and out of the sewers, only to reveal that all that time Remy had in fact been under Paris all along, and had accidentally led Remy to Gusteau's restaurant. During this scene the escape from the sewers to get up and above ground also shows the Crossing of the Threshold, as Remy did not want to leave the sewers, but this decision to leave presents his acceptance of a new life.

While talking to Gusteau above his restaurant and getting angry and worried over the Cleaner Linguini who has ruined the soup, Remy accidentally falls into the kitchen, and is in the Belly of the Whale. Remy scrambles around the kitchen, trying to stay out of sight and out of harms way as he races towards an open window. When he finally reaches the window, he discovers the ruined soup, and his love of cooking stops he from leaving as he feels compelled to fix it. However once he has finished it is revealed that Linguini had in fact been watching the whole time, he catches the rat and is ordered to kill it, however he feels sorry for Remy and lets him free. Remy returns shortly after and the two begin their lives as partners, Linguini acting as a human front for Remy to cook.

Road of Trials begin here, which involve Remy and Linguini figuring out if and how their double act will work. When they finally get over the hurdle of allowing Remy to control Linguini. Another trial that they have to overcome is learning to cook in a very fast paced business kitchen, with the guidance of Celeste. The current owner of the restaurant, Skinner, begins to notice the rat around the kitchen, such as catching the silhouette of the rat beneath linguini's hat, and begins to cause trouble for the two. Skinner is finally defeated as Remy discovers the Linguini is in fact heir to the restaurant and not Skinner. This induces another trial in which Remy needs to overcome being stealing the papers and fleeing from Skinner.

The Temptress in this film affects Linguini rather than Remy, within the film the Temptress is represented as Celeste, whom Linguini becomes infatuated with. This affects his concentration in the kitchen and causes Remy to grow angry with his partner in cooking. However this does not mean that Temptation does not affect Remy within the film, as he rediscovers his family, who try to persuade him that all humans do to rats is kill them, and that rats belong in the sewers.

Once word gets around that Linguini is a great chef, the highly acclaimed and harshly critically critique Anton Ego visits the restaurant, warns Linguini that he will return soon for a meal, and this instigates the Final Battle. Skinner reappears and kidnaps Remy, the kitchen is in disarray and it seems the Ego will be giving the restaurant a low rating. When Remy thinks that all hope is lost Remy's father and brother save him from Skinner, presenting the Atonement with Father, and soon the entire rat colony aid Remy and Linguini cook for the entire restaurant.

The dish is a success with Anton, who gives the restaurant a five star rating once more. The Ultimate Goal has been reached. It doesn't last for two long however as due to all of the rats the restaurant had to be closed down.

After the success of the dish Remy is given the option of returning back to the human apartment with Linguini, and returning to the sewers with his family. Remy's Refusal of Return causes him to turn down both offers, and he strolls around Paris, watching the lights of the city until the early hours of the morning.

In the last scene of the film Remy has become the Master of Two Worlds, both hosting a restaurant for his rat colony, allowing him to be with his family, but also is allowed to cook for the humans in the brand new restaurant below, with Linguini who waitors and Anton Ego who has become a much happier investor into the new restaurant, Ratatouille.

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