Loving Vincent Movie Review
Directors: Dorota Kobiela, Hugh Welchman
Cast: Douglas Booth, Aidan Turner, Saoirse Ronan, Chris O'Dowd, Jerome Flynn, Helen McCrory, John Sessions, Eleanor Tomlinson
There's no doubt that this painstaking exploration of the complicated life and controversial death of one of the world's greatest artists, Vincent Van Gogh, that took more than six years to create -animation composed of 65,000 painted frames made with the help of 125 specially trained painters, is a striking and unique work of visual brilliance. But the story is too wafer thin to be a contender for cinematic ascendancy.
This film is inspired by Van Gogh's paintings, his numerous subjects, around 800 personal letters and meticulous research which form the fulcrum of this cinema dissemination of his artistic life. It's an experiment in animation-live action art that is quite awe inspiring to watch. Van Gogh's genius is on show in the replicated moments of artistic depths on display here. He was a social misfit, prone to depression who devoted around 37 years of his life to artistic pursuit. His art as visualised by the directors, speak of that traumatic history and eventually questions his death by suicide? Was it really suicide or murder?
Forms the crux of this murder investigation led by investigator/narrator Armaud Roulin(Douglas Booth), a bitter, aggressive drunk, who is entrusted the task of delivering Van Gogh's final letter addressed to his brother Theo. Armaud meets paint supplier Pere Tanguy(John Sessions) who appraises him of Theo's death and also fills him in on Van Gogh's transformation into a world renowned painter. The mystery deepens no doubt but there's barely any clue to hold on to. The beautiful spell binding imagery can't make up for the lack of depth in story and the narrative gets a little too abstract( in an artistic sense) to create any impact. At the end what you take home with you are the absolutely fantastic artistic works that Van Gogh created. Even his traumatic life-scape as delivered in piece-meal fashion here, can't hold a candle to that.
Watch 'Loving Vincent' Trailer