How do you define beauty? Or in this case how do you define taste? How do you portray something that is inherently untranslatable to a medium like a movie, that too an animation one at that! But portray it they do and boy do they do it in style!
The scene occurs during the very end of the movie. The scene is one where Anton, the critique, is seated to review the food served here and Remy, the rat, has just taken over the kitchen, along with a couple of hundred of its mates, and Linguini plays the waiter. Its a make or break scene and even reeks of an overused impossible-situation-for-protagonist-to-unravel plot. They say that anticipation of is worse than actually enduring a misfortune. And Linguine is in this rather sinew stretching situation of having to face the reaction of Anton, like having to be in the eye of the storm. The food is served and the critique takes a bite. And then a pause, the scales of fortune could tilt in any direction.
And then the magic happens. The eyes of the critique widen, as if something that was not anticipated, something from the depths of his memory was brought out without any prior notice. The scene changes- cut to a boy standing on a doorstep, many years ago, and his mother in the kitchen. A dish is served, boy takes a mouthful and then he smiles at the mother. And the scene cuts back to the present. That is all, but boy what magic…childhood, what we hold dear, what we cherish, how our values are formed…its all there in a few moments of movie magic.
I don’t know how to praise this scene enough. And the whole movie is suffused with scenes of such candor, that all the follies and redeeming qualities, light and shade, of all living things are contrasted and highlighted. And in doing so prove, that in this vale of tears, each of us can rise way beyond what fate and circumstances conspire to keep us in.