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Ratcatcher (Criterion Collection) back to product details

written by GGoodsell May 1, 2005 - 12:11 PM PDT
1 out of 3 members found this review helpful
A wee Scottish lad of about 13 learns about the world at the height of a widespread garbage spread in 1973. He falls in love with a "pass-around" lass, picks the lice out of his hair, puts up with his bickering parents and yearns for a beautiful home in the country. One of his playmates drowns, and he feels the heavy burden of guilt upon his brow. Another one of his play pals professes to love animals, and in a demonstration of such, sends his pet rat out the window with a balloon tied to its tail. Poverty and deprivation takes its toll, and it doesn't end well for our hero.

There will be the expected audiences for this slice-of-life fable, but my mind kept drifting to Harmony Korinne's GUMMO, a similar film about childhood spent in the slums, that is far, far more joyous and bizarre. Seek out GUMMO first and foremost instead.

Visionary, but not to excess
written by MDixon January 29, 2004 - 11:14 AM PST
5 out of 7 members found this review helpful
I had watched Morvern Callar first - basically, an random pick at the video store which ended up surprising me. Ratcatcher has more of a surreal quality, maybe - Ramsay is becoming one of my favorite directors. This movie stayed with me - made me gasp in one scene, made me laugh, allowed me to empathize with the characters. I did find myself keeping some distance, though - partly due to its bleakness, partly due to the thick Scottish brogues (which are subtitled) and my unfamiliarity with the milieu in which it is set. These faults may be mine, not the films - it is beautiful and, well, horrible - puts me in mind of that Rilke quote which is overused, but apt in this case - if ya know it, ya do - if not, ask . . .


(Average 7.66)
90 Votes
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