Arguably the true heir to Satyajit Ray, Adoor Gopalakrishnan is regarded as one of India's most outstanding filmmakers and Rat-Trap was the first film to bring him widespread international acclaim. Remarkable for its focus on characterization and detail, Rat-Trap is set in contemporary Kerala. Its story concerns Unni, the last male-heir of a feudal and decaying joint family. His inability to accept the socio-economic changes of a new society result in his gradual withdrawal into a metaphorical rat-trap sprung from his own isolation and paranoia. The decline is vividly told, with colour and music used as a striking and significant constituent of the film's thematic development. This is the first-ever DVD release of this award-winning and important Indian film.
A brilliant character study. --Sight & Sound
Gopalakrishnan constructs his film like a cinematic rondo, making every composition and every camera movement count. --Time Out
(Adoor) is to my mind the most original and imaginative film-maker. Humanist to the core and realist by conviction... --Mrinal Sen
United Kingdom released, PAL/Region 2 DVD: LANGUAGES: Bengali ( Mono ), English ( Subtitles ), SPECIAL FEATURES: Booklet, Cast/Crew Interview(s), Interactive Menu, Remastered, Scene Access, SYNOPSIS: A landowner is gradually losing his mental faculties when his older sister comes to live with him, bringing her derelict teenage son with her. She has her hopes of getting her part of the land and does not have much sympathy for her brother's failing health. Along with this trio, there is a middle sister who works hard, but is obviously sick -- and when her health deteriorates rapidly, her brother does nothing, forcing the workers on the land to come and take her to the hospital. There is also the youngest sister, more educated and anxious to leave the family and its problems. As her brother gets worse, she decides to do something about the rats that are taking over the house and captures them, drowning them in the river. Finally, she gets her chance and leaves with a man -- and her brother is taken to the river to be drowned by the workers, almost. He gets out of the river and survives, but the extension of his lease on life seems like it will certainly be limited. ...Rat-Trap ( Elippathayam )