RATATOUILLE has 1 (one) deleted scene.
It is a long, uninterrupted travel from a wide establishing shot of the Paris skyline down to street level, through the Auguste Gusteau restaurant and ending on a medium shot of Remi.
The shot could have been spectacular, reminding of the opening shot of TOUCH OF EVIL and its pastiche in THE PLAYER.
Brad Bird’s commentary talks about the reason why it was cut and it is simply: Point of View.
The natural question that would occur is “Why would you cut this spectacular shot?”, because it is obviously great. “I want to see that film!” Well, I feel that way, too.
The problem, once you get passed the initial sort of rush of seeing this very elaborate shot that shows you a lot of different things in one shot and very impressively, is that it is no character’s point of view.
It is just a sort of God-like shot where you’re presented this whole world and it is spectacular and there have been many fine shots like that – Touch of Evil being one – that were great but I felt that this is Remi’s movie and it needed to be Remi’s perspective.
And I want to know the emotions that lead up to Remi looking into the kitchen. I don’t just want it laid on a platter, you know, just cut to Darth going “You’re my son, Luke.”
We should be with Remi when he has that moment. We should know how he is experiencing it and what is he feeling when he is experiencing it. And you kind of aren’t, this way.
It did lay everything out, but I don’t think that it took the audience with it.
Brad Bird’s reasoning confirms what I have written about ‘omniscient POV’: it is weak, or worse, it doesn’t work.
Movies are inherently about empathising, even identifying with characters.
When you step out of the protagonist’s POV, it should be to shift to another POV, most often the antagonist’s, never to take an omniscient POV, because it is devoid of emotion.
One exception: you may use an omniscient POV to create dramatic irony, i.e. to reveal information the protagonist doesn’t know but which has an impact on his journey.
Karel Segers wrote his first produced screenplay at age 17. Today he is a story analyst with experience in acquisition, development and production. He has trained students worldwide, and worked with half a dozen Academy Award nominees. Karel speaks more European languages than you have fingers on your left hand, which he is still trying to find a use for in his hometown of Sydney, Australia. The languages, not the fingers.
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