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
I thought this film, directed by Edouard Deluc, had its moments but with its very methodical pacing and depressive tone can be a difficult watch. Vincent Cassel gives a fine performance as the acclaimed artist Paul Gauguin, who unable to sell his paintings in France, leaves his family in Paris to find inspiration for his work on the island of Tahiti.
There he meets the Tahitian beauty Tehura (Tuhei Adams), who, while living together, begins to pose for Gauguin's paintings and sketches. However, despite the lush atmospherics of it all, Gauguin finds himself still impoverished, in failing health, and becoming more and possessive and selfish when it comes to young Tehura. The envisioned idyllic life is slipping away.
Overall, despite the powerful performances from Cassel and the debut of Adams, the movie to me just became mostly a slog, although, at times, it seems to come together nicely, but those moments are too few and far between. Thus, just a fair rating for me.
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