Perspective: Ego’s Last Meal As A Critic

The title may have led you to believe that it is a profound phrase with layers of meaning to unravel.

I would like to clarify that it isn’t.

It is in all actuality a profound phrase with layers of meaning to unravel that is also a pun. (Few words can explain my love for puns – but let’s save that for another post, shall we?)

If you’ve watched the movie Ratatouille before, go ahead and read the title again. I’ll wait. See if you can spot what I’m alluding to.

If you haven’t, here’s a short recap: Anton Ego, the feared critic in Paris, is to critique Gusteau’s, the restaurant which lost a star previously owing to his harsh review.

At the restaurant, he requests to be served ‘perspective’. He is served ratatouille, and following an encounter with the chef, publishes a glowing review in the papers the next morning, despite the dish having been cooked by a rat. Here is where Ego says that he finally understood what Gusteau had meant by ‘Anyone can cook!’ – not that everyone has the talent to become a chef, but a true chef can come from anywhere.

Looks like he got served some perspective after all! But wait! Do we have a happy ending here? No. The rats are then discovered, and he loses his job as a critic. (But he’s happy as a small-time investor, so yes, happy ending. 😀 Ego’s happy, we’re happy.)

So in a way. Ego’s last meal as a critic was perspective.

I probably should have stopped thinking about it there. But no, I read between all the lines and connected one thing to another and came up with this theory:

Anton Ego represents our Ego. (His personality sure explains it.) Ratatouille, or the dish that he last ate as a critic, represents perspective. (Remember the flashback?) And if Ego’s last meal as a critic was perspective in the movie, who’s to say it can’t be so in real life?

This right here is an amazing quote 🙂

Admit it. We all have an Anton Ego lurking inside of us, whether or not he turns against the outside or yourself. That one voice inside our heads telling us we’re doing it all wrong, and that everyone else can do it better than you. Or that one voice telling everyone else they’re doing it all wrong and that they have no idea what they’re doing, ergo you could probably do it better than them.

The former is too little of Ego and the latter, too much. Two extremes on a scale. However, if you do manage to get a dash of perspective, it changes the way you (and in succession, Ego) look at things just enough for you to have some peace and sanity in order to actually accomplish things without worrying about anything else. In other words, Ego stops being a critic. Perhaps you might even get a boost when Ego stops analysing everything passing through your mind.

Now, the question remains – where do you get perspective from?

It depends on you. Perspective comes in a myriad of forms, and every person on this planet can discern only a few of these, for everyone thinks, and feels differently. If it helps, start with looking at the situation – or even life – in another light. For lack of a better literary metaphor, switch the point-of-view of your novel to another character’s.

In Gusteau’s words, your limit is your soul.

I leave you with this wonderful GIF that highlights the importance of watching the movie that is Ratatouille. 😀 

Catch you later!

Niru 🙂

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