‘Loving Vincent’ in review

Macey VanDenMeerendonk

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The people in Vincent Van Gogh’s life give different stories of his life and death in a mystery to solve the real story.

“Loving Vincent” not only tells the story of a world-renowned artist but does so as an art form in itself. The film is shown through oil paint animation in the same style as Vincent Van Gogh’s famous paintings.

Through the animation, Van Gogh’s story comes to life. The film’s style simultaneously tells of the events that took place and gives viewers the feeling of being inside his artistic creations.

The story starts out with a friend of Van Gogh’s telling his son to deliver a letter — written by Van Gogh before his death — to Van Gogh’s brother. When the young man arrives in the town where Van Gogh spent his last days, he finds there are more sides to the story of his death than expected.

The film depicts the events a year after Van Gogh’s death, and the different versions of the same story create a mystery for the young man to solve.

Along the way, the young man speaks to people with whom Van Gogh had shared the end of his life.

The innkeeper’s daughter is the first person the young man meets and is the start to the story; in her version, she provides all the good that could have been seen in Van Gogh.

Some, if not the majority of towns, found Van Gogh to be strange, and that was what the young man had been hearing. Toward the end of the film the stories from Dr. Gachet and his daughter Marguerite give more insight into the artist’s death.

All the different sides of the story bring Van Gogh and who he was to light, illuminating his struggle with mental health and his need to paint.

Being raised unappreciated and treated as a disappointment led to his mental state as an adult and later to his death. He was close to his brother, Theo Van Gogh, so he struggled to do what he loved and be successful when financial issues caused problems between them.

The film adds facts of Van Gogh’s success to the telling of the ongoing struggle he experienced in his day-to-day life.

Starting his career at 28 years old, the artist created over 800 paintings before he died and only sold one while still living, according to the film.

The characters the young man came in contact with and stories of others who impacted Van Gogh’s life question and explain the timeline of his death — was it suicide or murder?

The young man’s mission to learn the truth connects with the impact Van Gogh had on the people around him through his works of art that are well-known today.

The artfully depicted animation brings the characters and Van Gogh to life through his works and presents the mystery of who this man was before and after his death. “Loving Vincent” also helps bring understanding to who he was as a person and what he wanted his art to do.

“Loving Vincent” is playing at 7 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 16, 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 17 and at 2 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 17 in the Woodland Theater