1809, France. Captain Neuville is called to the front, leaving his future bride heartbroken. Her sister decides to write letters on his behalf to cheer her up. But it all goes south when Neuville reappears.
Paul Gauguin feels smothered by the atmosphere prevailing in Paris in the year 1891. Around him, everything is so artificial and conventional: he needs authenticity to renew his art. Failing to convince his wife Mette and his five children to follow him to Paradise Lost, he sets out for Tahiti alone. Once there, he chooses to settle down in Mataiera, a village far away from Papeete, installing himself in a native-made hut. He soon starts working passionately, painting and carving in a style close to the primitive art specific to the island. During his two-year stay the artist will experience poverty, cardiac problems and other displeasures but also happiness in the arms of Tehura, a beautiful young native girl.Written by
Bitter sweet inspiration about a man who truly struggled for his art.
I've been a fan of Vincent Cassell for years and he is the only reason why I wanted to see this movie when I saw the poster in a near by theater. Cassell plays Paul Gauguin, an artist who was willing to give up everything: his wife, his 5 children, all to travel down to Tahiti in hopes that the journey would make him a better artist. While down there he stars a romance with a woman who becomes his muse.
Cassell, himself was so good in the movie. It was a mixed bag of emotions as Cassell portrays a very selfish man who give up way too much to become a starving artist holding on to the dream that he would find pure inspiration. It was indeed a struggle, but Cassell's performance also show a man who was focus on living his best life.
Another great yet low key performance was done by Tuheï Adams who plays Tehura, the muse who became the focus of many of Gauguin's painting. I felt the two of them together had enough chemistry to keep the movie going.
Overall, I went to see this movie for Vincent Cassell and I'm very stratified with his performance enough to be interested in the man he portrayed (ignoring how a movie set in the late 1800s is painting a clear picture of what Gentrification looks like today.) Plus Tuhei Adams was a pleasant bonus and I hope to see more of her.
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