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Ratatouille brings furry rodents to the forefront, a species that had been thus far disregarded in cartoons, an adds a zest of life and a dash of warmth to their little selves. The title is not only the name of a French dish but is also a play on the name of the main character. The plot follows the journey of the anthropomorphic rat, Remy who dreams of becoming a chef and tries to achieve this by befriending a garbage boy. The theme of the movie is the aggressive pursuit of excellence.

Remy is an idealistic and ambitious young rat with highly developed senses of smell and taste. His idol is the recently deceased, Auguste Gusteau. One day, when Remy and his family are forced to flee their home, Remy and his brother Emile find themselves on the skylight overlooking Gustave’s kitchen in a Parisian restaurant.

There, Remy observes the garbage boy, Alfredo Linguini spill a pot of soup and attempt to recreate it. He decides to help Linguini by fixing whatever he has messed up. Linguini notices this. Skinner, who is Gustave’s former sous-chef reprimands Linguini for tampering with the soup. However, while they are continuing with this argument, the soup is accidentally served and to their utter surprise; it proves to be a big hit among the customers that night. Colette Tatou, one of the chefs at the restaurant convinces Skinner to employ Linguini in their kitchen as they assume him to have created the wonderful soup. When Skinner catches Remy trying to escape, he immediately orders Linguini to kill the rat. But Linguini identifies Remy’s intelligence and decides to keep him instead.

On Linguini’s first day, he and Remy devise a new method of communication: Linguini hides Remy under his toque and Remy guides him like a puppet by pulling his hair.

Skinner and Remy learn that Linguini is Gustave’s illegitimate son and should thus be the rightful owner of the restaurant. Remy gives concrete evidence to Linguini who uses it to ask Skinner to step down and be replaced by Linguini instead. The restaurant thrives and Remy’s recipes become popular. However, poor Remy feels left out as a romance seems to bubble between Linguini and Colette. He visits his family but there, he has a fallout with this father, Django, over his admiration for humans. So, Remy leaves from there.

Meanwhile, it is rumoured that the world-renowned food critic Anton Ego, is scheduled to visit their restaurant and write his food review. He is also believed to be the indirect cause of Gustave’s death as his negative reviews seemed to have been taken seriously by Gustave. After a heated argument with Linguini, Remy leads his rat family to invade and raid the kitchen of the restaurant, seeking their revenge. Remy is then captured by Skinner (who now works for Ego) but he is freed by his rat clan. Linguini then apologises to Remy and reveals that he had been unable to cook without him. His staff, on hearing this shocking revelation, leaves in disgust. But Colette returns as she believes in the motto, propagated by Gusteau, that anyone can cook.

The entire rat clan, being proud of Remy decide to offer to help with the cooking. The rats cook and Linguini manages the tables. Remy creates a ‘ratatouille’ variation of the stuffed eggplant which reminds Ego of his mother’s cooking. The rats also tie up Skinner and the Health inspector so as to prevent them from finding out that the rats are cooking. When Ego requests to meet the chef, Linguini and Colette make him wait till the other guests have left, before introducing him to Remy. Ego is stunned and writes a spectacular review for the restaurant terming Remy as nothing less than the finest chef in France and he finally understands Gusteau’s motto.

But, Gusteau’s is permanently closed down due to health regulations of rats cooking and Ego loses his job permanently. He then funds Linguine, Colette and Remy to open and to run their new venture “La Ratatouille” and the rats settle into their new home on the restaurant’s roof.

The film buzzes with eye-catching action and handles the delicate themes of individual ambition versus family responsibility with the utmost subtlety. There is an unmistaken authenticity in the kitchen scenes and an unbeatable delight in the narrative’s handling of the furry characters.

Overall, it is an enjoyable movie filled with hilarious sequences that you can enjoy with your whole family.

Buy movie: Ratatouille
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