Paris, 1880. Paul Gauguin is a successful financier. He lives in Paris with his wife Mette and their four children. But when his passion for painting becomes a mission to revolutionize art, Gauguin must unleash the savage within himself. To do so he gives up his job and comfortable lifestyle, leading his family into a downward spiral of poverty and travels to Tahiti. His voyages take him even further from his beloved family and teach him the true meaning of the word sacrifice. What price must he pay in order to pursue his dream? Written by
This film, as far as I can remember, never had a commercial run here, or at least, this movie probably went to cable right after it's release in other countries. The idea of watching a biopic about Gauguin intrigued me since this painter had a turbulent career and his paintings, especially his Tahitian ones, revolutionized the art world.
As it has been pointed out by other contributors to this forum, Paul Gauguin had a difficult life. He was never clearly understood by his wife, or the general public he tried to conquer. He was a passionate man who left all the comforts in order to pursue an ambition that never gave him the happiness or economic security that others attained.
The screen play, not being linear, doesn't add much to the story. We are constantly taken back and forth, knowing little about the man. Paul Gauguin's family life was an unhappy one. His wife Mette never clearly understood him, nor stuck by him when he abandoned the brokerage house. Mette appears as a cold woman who never shared her husband's passion for the life he embarked.
Kiefer Sutherland's interpretation of the painter can go so far; he is hindered by an uninspired screen play. As far as his struggle with the local priest, who clearly wants to take the natives' culture away from them, is only a distraction. Actually, we see very little about the passion that consumed Gauguin during his time in Tahiti as he spends very little time doing what he went there for, in the first place: painting!
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