Ratatouille is Pixar’s story of a rat, Remy, in the french culinary world. As a food film it touches on many different issues in the food industry; women in the kitchen, sell-out chefs, even the problematic symbiotic relationship between restaurants and critics. There are many layers to this animated film. However, I am more than a decade late in this review, therefore we will only be discussing the reason I find this flick compelling. It mostly boils down to a moment of truth.
The scene where Anton Ego, the harsh critic and seeming antagonist of the tale, bites into the ratatouille and is immediately transported back to his childhood, is probably one of the most relatable scenes in the entire movie. It clearly depicts one of the ways that food is transcendent. With a single bite you can be transported back to a place or time, overwhelmed with emotion. This instant trip may not even be conscious. It can sometimes just have you at the table wondering, ‘what was that thing I ate and, where do I know it from?’ In the film, Remy’s ratatouille and the ratatouille Ego had when he was a child are very different visually. However, that is where flavor comes into play. Flavor resonates with us and can bring a feeling of comfort and care which are undeniably nourishing. Ego was not transported back to a mundane dinner party where he had a spectacular plate of ratatouille. He was transported to a bad day where someone who loved him, cheered him up with a hearty meal.
This is what makes food so powerful. It is a thing we must do every day to survive, but it is also a sign of affection that can be revisited regularly. There all different types of dinning experiences. One of the best experiences is when you have something that is familiar but in a completely different way, it adds layers to the experience. Ratatouille exemplified this brilliantly. Not only was Ego transported back, but the trip made him question his personal philosophy. Great food can come from unexpected places and it can rock you to your core. ‘Ratatouille’ touches on the power of food, making the film powerful by extension. Can a rat cook with as much care as your loved ones? Probably not, but I bet for a moment you wished there was a chef genius living in your trash can. Either way, do you like Ratatouille? Whats your favorite part of the movie? Let us know in the comments below.
Photo owned by Disney.