To me, Pixar's animated movie, Ratatouille, is perhaps the very best of 2007. I watched it on a long haul flight, and was fascinated by the brilliant storytelling, imaginative animation, attention to detail, witty dialogs and visual elements. It's a simple theme - we have a rat who wants to be a chef. And of course, no kitchen wants a rat, and the conflict that ensues is hilarious.
The main protagonist, Remy, is inspired by a deceased French Chef Gusteau's motto, "Anyone can cook", which the humorless vulture-like food critic Anton Ego later realizes actually means "Not everyone can become a great chef, but a great chef can come from anywhere".
The scenes involving Remy and his fellow rats are pretty funny.
Remy: Hey, I brought you something to...
[sees Emile eating garbage]
Remy: AH! NO, NO, NO, NO! SPIT THAT OUT RIGHT NOW!
Remy: I have got to teach you about food. Close your eyes.
[Emile obeys; Remy hands out piece of cheese]
Remy: Now take a bite of this...
[Emile snarfs the cheese]
Remy: No, no, no! Don't just hork it down!
Emile: Too late.
But above all, there's this lovely scene where Remy first takes a bite of a piece of cheese, which immediately creates an upbeat swirl of flavors. He then separately takes a bite of the strawberry and feels a more delicate flavor. And then when he combines the two together, they create a brilliant epiphany that sparks fireworks that dance and sparkle in his mind.
In this one lucid scene, Pixar has captured the joy of combining flavors, the quintessential feeling of delight that floods my mind when I sample food during one of the reviews I do as a hobby.
Sigh - I just hope the chefs I meet dont think I'm like Anton :-)
Watch Ratatouille - you will not be disappointed. While we keep hearing of animation film kids like that adults might enjoy, this is definitely one for all. And oh, if you may care for sampling some decent ratatouille, check out Road Trip in Indiranagar.
Have any of you seen Ratatouille yet?