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Times of India
Story: This is the story of Vincent Van Gogh's final days as seen through the eyes of a young man who seeks to deliver the troubled artist's final letter. Each frame is depicted in the style of painted animation that took over six years for artists to hand-paint.
Review: To even attempt emulating the work of one of the most influential figures in modern Western art is a remarkable task in itself.
But take a moment to appreciate its sheer audacity - 125 artists created 65,000 hand-painted frames over the course of 6 years for the sole purpose of this film. An undertaking of this magnitude isn't likely to be replicated anytime soon because one would be hardpressed to find a more compelling reason for such an effort. This dictates how the film should be experienced; as a cinematic work of art.
Gorgeous paintings merge with each other to create dreamlike sequences that allow us to perceive what the world probably looked like through the eyes of the quintessential tortured artist. At the request of his father, Armand Roulin (Douglas Booth) sets out to deliver a letter from the deceased Van Gogh to his brother Theo. He comes across key figures in Van Gogh's portraits, who reveal aspects of the artist's final days before his passing. The film loses momentum as Armand embarks on his journey of self-discovery amidst trying to unveil the real reason behind the apparent suicide. Jumping back and forth in time during various phases of Van Gogh's life, the broad brushstrokes eventually begin to give some insights into his troubled psyche.
Sadly, the plot isn't as taut as it should be, and the air of mystery isn't as compelling as the imagery used to paint the whole picture. This is undoubtedly a tall order, and should not dissuade viewers from the visual indulgence. Aided by a fine score courtesy Clint Mansell, your patience will be rewarded as long as you focus on the presentation beyond the slow pacing and all the conjecture. That itself is worth the price of admission for what will remain a significant cinematic achievement.