Reviewed by: Andrew Robertson

This is a character piece. A meandering one, at that, apparently intended to run in a loop as a video installation. As such it has no start, save its beginning, no end, save when it stops.

There is a rat in a bathtub. A rat of sorts, at least: a young woman in a tinfoil nose and ears, a large glass of red wine in her hand. She is talking to the camera, to the penguin shaped teapot that is on the toilet beside her. The rat is telling us stories.

They are odd stories of somewhere seedy that might be Glasgow, at least from the accent. They are meandering, incomplete. They are infuriating too. This is a film that doesn't quite draw. Maybe it is that it is not designed for the screen, not paced for a sitting. Maybe it rewards further reading, repeat screenings. What is certain is that as presented it misses the mark.

The penguin sits there stoicly while the silvery rat talks on and on. The rambling, while intimate, is that of a bore in the corner of a pub. They may be friend or stranger but they are no more interesting for it. The stories have some capacity to amuse, but it's more laughter 'at' than laughter with. Whatever is happening is happening off-screen - as in Three Monkeys, what we see is reaction. This is not the Romantics' moment of beauty considered at leisure, not a reflected moment of horror; this is the haze of alcoholic memory; a fug one might choose to avoid.

Reviewed on: 24 Feb 2009
Share this with others on...
A rat in a bathtub sips on a glass of wine and by candle light attempts to tell stories.

Director: Lila de Magalhaes

Year: 2007

Runtime: 4 minutes

Country: UK


Glasgow 2009

Search database:

If you like this, try:

Stuart Little
Withnail And I