In the previous scene, he saw the rat cooking and perhaps he thinks he’s mad, but he is open to the idea the rat might be gifted and special. Instead of killing it, he stood there staring at him and trapped it before it could escape… but not because he wanted to kill it but perhaps because he was curious about the rat and wanted to analyze it a bit more. When Remy tries to escape and, therefore is discovered by the chef Skinner .Linguini is put in the position where he has to dispose of the rat, even though that wasn’t his intention in the first place. But now he is scared for his job, he has lost too many already and feels he needs to do what he’s being asked. You can really see the internal fight he’s dealing with, the emotion in every step. He’s pace is very indecisive.
Now, in this sequence, and due to a very good combination of soundtrack, lightning, staging and animation techniques and principles, you can really feel the stress and the dramatism intended for the scene. How it starts doubtfully, depressing and then rises up to a stress level that ends up breaking the action and making its way into the next scene, which is essential for the story. This is when the key relationship between these characters is build and when Linguini realizes that Remy is actually special, as he could understand him, and that there’s a possibility where Remy could help him.
What impresses the most and important to mention about this clip is the emotion and the way the director involves you in the scene. The viewer is intentionally put in the position of the characters, in order to increase the level of stress. The poses become bigger every time, as it starts with slow motions of uncertainty and it finishes with desperate big moves with less spacing between poses each time, as well as subtle and fast shakes when Remy breathes desperately and Linguini is trying to get the courage to drop the jar. It is not a coincidence the sequence occurs at night. It adds to the dramatism as well as the fact that the street is deserted with only a few leafs on the floor and is illuminated with just one light that sort of judges Linguini as he arrives to the river and he is then immersed into darkness as he walks away and approaches the fatal destiny of Remy. It keeps the viewer involves as each shot suggests the next with marked lines of actions.
And I think my favourite part of this clip is when the camera closes at both Remy’s and Linguini’s eyes. The slight movements on Remy’s eyes when he focuses on Linguini and the other way around when Linguini is reading Remy’s fear and slowly opens his eyes in recognition and then opens it quickly very wide with a bit of anticipation for one or two frames before he explodes and reacts to not wanting to kill the rat: