Thursday, 25 March 2010

Alex Weill "One Rat Short" (2007)

If you are fortunate enough not to already know Alex Weill’s wonderful 2007 film, One Rat Short, you will be happy, after a fashion, for it is a very fine movie with an ending that will move you. It commences in a city railway station where rats hunt in a pack for food. One chases an errant food wrapper with near fatal consequences in a tense confrontation with a ventilation fan. Quite sufficient for one movie perhaps save that the rodent explores a quite different world where there are rats aplenty in brightly lit conditions, robot eyes keeping watch and every likelihood of an early death. The rats are white and their home a laboratory. Romance flairs in the most unlikely of neighbourhoods and brown and white rats enjoy each other’s fleeting company. The 3D work is excellent, the grime and gloom of the early scenes contrasting with unnatural brightness of the lab. The rats are a conspicuous success, especially the gutter rat. It is never romanticised, its twitching whiskers and fur never cuddly. Indeed the action, within reason, is realistic enough. There is a sentimentality of sorts but as I said, fleeting. Alex explains his approach in the blurb attached to the YouTube link above. One of my favourite films this year and sure to be in the running in the end of year awards!

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