“I know nothing with any certainty, but the sight of the stars makes me dream”. Such a telling remark from an under confident man who saw the beauty in everything.
This film, for me was set to be incredible, sadly I think it fell short. If you haven’t heard of what this is. It is an animated piece, based on the works of VVG, everything is hand painted in it and the trailer (which can be seen here) looks visually stunning, but what this film has in style, it misses somewhat in its perceived substance.
The story follows a guy in a yellow jacket, Armand Roulin (Douglas Booth), in his efforts to deliver a letter that Vincent had written to his brother just before he died. The film set after his death, and allows Roulin to go from the belief that Vincent was just a local lunatic to understanding him and wanting to do something for him in death as he was so cruelly treated in life. His escapades take Roulin through the discovery of Vincent being shot, the events that lead up to his death and then the spurious nature of the shooting.
He visits several people on his journey to try and deliver this letter, finally doing his own fairly clunky and a mature detective work on the Gachet’s.
What aggravated me the most about this I think was the casting. All good according in their own right, but if you are going to create a film to appeal to art lovers, inconsistency, in my opinion, is not an option. So when you have Chris O’Dowd playing a French postman with his Irish accent and then Douglas Booth playing his son with a heavy cockney accent, this irks. The other characters and their accents follow suit, throwing in a soft Welsh accent and some very common London ones, when the whole film is set in France, about a Dutch painter.
If you’re anything like me, you’ll also get sick of the guy in the lemon yellow jacket running around through the backdrop of VVG’s artwork. I know they wanted to stick to art by VVG, but he could have taken his jacket off.
I am quite a VVG fan, and I appreciate that I haven’t written about him yet on this blog, but his paintings indicated movement, the brush strokes drawing the viewer to a breeze, or the subtle moments of a girl playing piano, and in many cases, this then doesn’t translate to being made in to a moving piece of art. The multiple brush strokes become almost like a child’s piece of pasta art, and it loses the integrity of the beauty which was displayed in the original art work (this is most seen in the beards and in the movement of the clouds in the sky).
There is absolutely no doubt, that the people who worked on this are amazingly talented, and the concept which was seven years in the making feels like it has fallen somewhat short.
This is in certain cinemas at the moment, and if you are intrigued by it, by all means go and see it as while there are some very irritating factors to it, the black and white flash back scenes are beautifully created and visually lush.
Maybe, if you do see it, come back and let me know what you thought.