Analysis of the Scene “Linguini Learns to Cook” in the Movie "Ratatouille"
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Remy is a rat who is one of the protagonist of the movie. Despite the fact that cooking is a rodent-phobic profession, he dreams of becoming a great chef one day just like his culinary hero, Auguste Gusteau. Remy hates the idea that rats have to steal food from the garage when he would prefer to go to a kitchen and get “fresh” samples. He spends numerous nights in a human home reading Chef Gusteau’s cookbook and watches his television program. One day Remy sees on TV that his culinary hero has passed. While watching the news he accidentally wakes up the elderly women who lives in the home. That’s when Remy’s clan is forced to make a run for it. When Remy stays behind to grab Gusteau’s cookbook, he is separated from his family and ends up in the sewer beneath one of Paris’ finest restaurants—Gusteau’s. That’s when Remy realizes that opportunity has knocked on his door and he may be able to achieve his dreams.
The other protagonist of the movie is named Linguini. He is the son of the recently deceased Chef Gusteau. He unlike Gusteau, has no experience with cooking therefore is hired as a garbage boy. When Remy sees that Linguini accidentally knocks over a pot of soup and tries to fix it by adding random ingredients, Remy comes to the rescue and fixes the soup. Linguini sees this and is shocked that a rat is cooking. He decides to take him home and call him “Little Chef.” In the video scene, Remy holds out a blindfold with both of his hands portraying that he would like Linguini to wear it. Linguini confused, accepts the blindfold and puts it on. Remy then climbs onto Linguini’s head and grabs full strands of Linguini’s hair with both his hands. The strands of Linguini’s hair serve as a controller for Remy and he is able to manipulate what Linguini does, almost like a puppet. They first start off rough where they are running into things and knocking things over but as time passes, Remy is successfully able to control Linguini and they are able to slice onions properly, pour wine in a glass, and overall cook like an experienced chef.
Term 1- Haptics
The use of haptics is one that involves touch, physically. This could include intimacy such as kissing, patting a friend on the back to tell them good job, or even hitting someone when you’re angry. Haptics involves touch that feels the most real to us which provides comfort. For example, if someone were to do a favor for me and I just told them thank you verbally, I think they would genuinely appreciate me telling them thank you. But, if I were to say thank you verbally and also place my hand on their back or shoulder, I think that would actually mean more to that person because I included the use of haptics. By doing so, I added a more meaningful/ touching component to the scenario. An example of haptics from the movie scene in Ratatouille would be the part where Remy grabs Linguini’s hair with both his hands, and starts to control him like a puppet. This is actually interesting because he is touching Linguini’s hair physically and is controlling his whole body physically. Since Remy is a rat and Linguini is a human being, they cannot communicate verbally therefore Remy and Linguini communicate by using haptics. Remy pulling on Linguini’s hair is their form of communication and instruction. When Remy wants Linguini to mix the batter in the bowl faster and faster, Remy does the same mixing movements with Linguini’s hair in his hand which makes the actual Linguini do the same movements. Remy and Linguini communicate with the use of haptics throughout this entire movie since that is basically their secret weapon when it comes to cooking.
Term 2- Proxemics
Proxemics is the study of distance between two individuals. Proxemics focuses on how far apart or close two individuals are spacing wise. For example, if I came home and saw that my boyfriend was sitting on the far right of the couch and I sat on the far left of the couch, that distance would portray that I am mad at my boyfriend or something is not right. On the other hand, if I sat right next to him and our distance is close then that would portray the message that I’m happy to see him or I enjoy his company. An example of proxemics from the movie scene in Ratatouille would be the part where Remy climbs onto Linguini and he is basically standing on Linguini’s head. Their distance is very close since Remy is such a small creature that needs to be able to smell and see entirely what is going on. I think it also tells us the viewers that since they are so close in distance, they stand as one, and that is what enables their teamwork towards success. I think the fact that Remy is on top of Linguini’s head is also a bit ironic because he is able to control Linguini’s entire physical actions by pulling on his strands of hair and Remy is also close to Linguini’s brain distance wise—he is standing right on top of it.
Term 3- Objectics
Objectics is the study of how objects influence communication. Objectics can basically be anything from bags, chairs, room décor, etc. For example, say I was offered two different jobs. I go to the first job interview and notice that the waiting room is filled with trash, there’s flies roaming around, the couches are stained/ ripped. That will probably affect my decision making, make me lose interest in that job, and affect what I say to the interviewer. Because I lost interest in the job, I might not say certain things because I’ll think it’s not necessary and I don’t really care. On the other hand, if I go to the other job interview and see that everything is nice and tidy, there are fresh flowers on the table, etc, I will definitely want to work there instead of the other dirty place. Therefore, it will affect what I say because I would want to impress the interviewer and make sure they know all the highlights about me. An example of objectics from the movie scene in Ratatouille is when Remy hands Linguini the red and purple striped blind fold. The blind fold serves as an objectics because it affected their communication. By putting on the blind fold, Remy was able to take full control of Linguini’s actions and communicate the way he intended to. If Linguini did not put on the blind fold there might have been a chance where Linguini refuses to do certain things or he might tell Remy something is a bad idea, etc. By Linguini putting on the blind fold, the trust and bond was there allowing efficient communication between the two.
Linkage Haptics and Proxemics
Haptics and Proxemics definitely go hand in hand in this scene from Ratatouille and throughout the entire movie. The fact that Remy is a rat and Linguini is a human has to do a lot with it because they are not able to verbally speak to each other therefore they rely on touch and distance to communicate with each other. Remy portrays haptics the entire time because he is physically holding onto Linguini’s hair. On the other hand, Remy and Linguini are very close in distance because Remy needs to be on top of Linguini’s head in order to control him.
Haptics and Objectics
The connection between Haptics and Objectics is portrayed in this scene of Ratatouille because without either one Remy would not be able to successfully teach Linguini how to cook. Remy portrays haptics by holding onto Linguini’s hair but Remy would not be able to successfully control Linguini without the objectics which is the blind fold. Linguini being blind folded tells us the viewers that Linguini is letting Remy communicate and take full control of his physical actions.
In conclusion, I believe that both Remy and Linguini displayed haptics, proxemics, and objectics in a very strong way and it really showed how they correlate with one another. Remy was definitely successful in communicating with Linguini because he was able to portray what he wanted to say by pulling on Linguini’s hair and making him take action. The original meaning being communicated by Remy was definitely the same meaning as what the receiver got because in this case, Remy was the main controller and he controlled Linguini’s every little action. On the other hand, I think if Remy was able to actually speak verbally to Linguini in the movie, he would not have stood on top of Linguini’s head and things would have been very different. Remy could verbally say mix the batter in a clockwise motion, and Linguini could have done it wrong, but because Remy had full control of Linguini, he was able to communicate effectively. Overall, doing this assignment really made me realize that we constantly deal with different kinds of communication styles each and every day. It’s almost overwhelming when you think about every situation you’re in and you try to define what kind of communication style is present. I think the main take away I got from this chapter/ assignment is that every little detail matters in order to communicate efficiently and effectively therefore I really need to keep my eyes open and pay attention—ironically, non-verbal communication definitely speaks loud.
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