Ratcatcher

Ratcatcher

Haunting drama about a dirt-poor Glasgow family, suffering through the city's infamous garbage strike in the late '70s. Ratcatcher focuses on the only son in the family, an 11-year-old who accidentally(?) drowns a friend in the muddy Glaswegian canals, then suffers from the guilt surrounding his act as his world literally decays around him.

With its sparse dialogue (which is fine; the accents are so thick that English subtitles have been provided!) and slack pace, this film could have been extremely dull. Or, given the subject matter, extremely depressing. That it isn't either of these things is a credit to Ramsay's artful, sensitive approach to her story. There's a great deal of beauty in this film, in a raw, gritty sense, and she invests as much into her imagery as a photographer would (and indeed, Ramsay was trained as a still photographer). Ratcatcher is an elegant, disturbing portrait of a doomed childhood.