Nice Try, but...
The strength of this film hinges on the plausibility of the account- if this is indeed an accurate portrayal of Van Gogh's last days then it at least has some innate value in that regard. Although the pain of V.G.'s suffering was excruciatingly heightened by the real-life pace, the film suffered overall from being too slow. I was left feeling depressed about Van Gogh and got the feeling that maybe some aspects of a person's life are better left undramatized. The character of "Van Gogh" ultimately comes across as a hopeless case--crazy, depressed, bitter, irresponsible and ill-tempered, hopelessly dependent on his brother and resentful to the point of suicide because of it. But is that the whole story? There must be more and this movie doesn't leave the viewer with the impression that any stones have been left unturned. Too much of this man's earlier life is unknown to us(assumed) and his actions and relationship with his brother, Theo have no real context for the viewer to truly sympathize or understand Van Gogh. And the relations he has with the love interests in the film are in many ways stilted and hard to believe. Van Gogh was a stormy, complex, singular type of human being whose story resists just this type of retelling. Nice try but I think this film missed.
- May 22, 2006
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