Loving Vincent (2017)
Dir. Dorota Kobiela & Hugh Welchman
What a sorrowfully beautiful artwork. Although its narrative structure isn’t perfect, I don’t want to be a critic here. Told from the postman’s son Armand Roulin (Douglas Booth)’s point of view, the groundbreaking oil-painted animated feature revolves around an undelivered letter and the mystery of Vincent van Gogh (Robert Gulaczyk)’s death. It is interesting to see Armand’s change of attitude towards Vincent during his letter-delivering journey. In finding out more about a dead man’s life, he is meanwhile making sense of his own life.
Vincent has a beautiful soul. As the Ravoux Inn keeper’s daughter Adeline Ravoux (Eleanor Tomlinson) says, ‘No detail of life was too small or too humble for him. He appreciated and loved it all.’ I was completely captivated when the song ‘Vincent’ (‘Starry, Starry Night’) played during the end credits. The line ‘Now I understand what you tried to say to me / And how you suffered for your sanity / And how you tried to set them free’ particularly touched my heart. It brings back memories of my visit to the Espace Van Gogh in Arles, the hospital where Van Gogh stayed during his final days of life, and expresses precisely my feelings after watching the film. And yes, ‘This world was never meant for one as beautiful as you.’ You are always loved, Vincent.