Wednesday 25 November 2009

Ratcatcher [1999]

-->Ratcatcher, Scottish director Lynne Ramsay’s exceptional debut feature film (she was earlier into making award-winning short films), is an exceedingly bleak yet hauntingly lyrical coming-of-age story of a 12-year old resident of Glasgow. Set during the 1973-strike of garbage-workers, working-class Glasgow here is a picture of squalor, decadence and grunge. And amidst a plethora of rats and an equally filthy group of hooligans resides James, a frail, socially inept and emotionally withdrawn boy (more so because of his role in the accidental death of a neighbourhood kid), who lives with his parents and siblings, forms an unlikely platonic-relationship with an older, troubled girl, and dreams of moving into their new house in the countryside. On one hand, the movie might not be easily palatable for its grim subject matter, and disconsolate, dreary and disturbing portrayal of poverty, juvenile delinquency, broken homes and self-destruction; on the other, it boasts of moments of absolutely stunning visual beauty that is almost heartbreaking in its candid depiction of the world through a child’s eyes. The movie isn’t so much about its plot as it is about its imagery and characterizations. And in its daring (and at times, even poignant) portrayal of not-so-innocent children, Ramsay kick-started her tryst with cinema in quite memorable fashion.

Director: Lynne Ramsay
Genre: Drama/Urban Drama/Coming-of-Age
Language: English
Country: UK (Scotland)


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Alex DeLarge said...

I haven't seen RATCATCHER yet (shame on me) but loved MORVERN CALLAR! I'm moving this film up in my queue: thanks for the nice write-up or it would have slipped past me:)

Shubhajit said...

Its absolutely my pleasure. And given your enthusiasm for Morvern Callar, I guess I need to watch that since its already lying with me :)