“Vincent and Theo (1990)“, is a “must-watch“, even for those who may not care about Van Gogh’s art. Robert Altman, brilliantly pulls together the turbulent, tender, and unbreakable love story between Vincent, and his brother, Theo, without whose financial and emotional support, the world would have been robbed of Vincent’s art. Gabriel Yared’s music is fittingly violent, and abrupt. Its erratic tones, and deliberate shift from conventional melody is one of those rare ultra- abstract pieces that I absolutely loved.
The conventional potrayal of Theo – as the sane, stable, and unwavering support in Vincent’s life – is replaced by a man, struggling against his own conventional captivity, and seeking to live through Vincent’s boundless mind, and purity of purpose. This volcanic relationship, and Vincent’s rough exterior, doesn’t overshadow Vincent’s underlying, and rare humanity, which is the essence of his art.
“I want you to understand clearly my conception of art. What I want and aim at is confoundedly difficult, and yet I do not think I aim too high. I want to do drawings which touch some people…In either figure or landscape I should wish to express, not sentimental melancholy, but serious sorrow…I want to progress so far that people will say of my work, he feels deeply, he feels tenderly – notwithstanding my so-called roughness, perhaps even because of it… What am I in most people’s eyes? A nonentity, or an eccentric, and disagreeable man – somebody who has no position in society and never will have, in short, the lowest of the low. Very well… then I should want my work to show what is in the heart of such an eccentric, of such a nobody.”
More than a hundred years later, his art has not ceased to evoke our deepest emotions.
An excerpt from the movie that I love,
Do you have to go so far on principle, Vincent? Or is it natural? I understood you wanted to live this way when you followed the Commandments to the letter. But now you don’t want to do it.. Truly, Vincent. I can’t understand it..
Theo, if you do something, you must do it well?
T: Do it well? Do what, Vincent?
V: I am going to be a painter. What do you think of that?
T: I don’t like it.
V: Its better than trash you sell in the Gulps.
T: Not everything is trash.
V: It’s trash, everything is trash!
T: We sell Millet, Corot. We sell many of the artists that you’d admire, besides…
V: Oh, Millet! That’s real art. Millet is art.
T: Millet is authentic life.
V: But here there’s life, too! And here is God! God is everywhere… but in the church, and in our damned family.
From there, began Vincent’s search for truth in nature. In the following decade, he produced works that stunned the world, and inspired generations of painters.
No! No one paid me to write this review!