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The Artist

Critic:

Jason Knight

|

Posted on:

19 Dec 2021

Film Reviews
The Artist
Directed by:
Sebastian Li
Written by:
Sebastian Li
Starring:
Pedro H. Valladao, Peter Seungchan No

A young artist is struggling to get his work accepted by the public, leading to disturbing and dramatic consequences.

 

Peter (Valladao) has a passion for painting self-portraits. However, his friend and artist agent (No) is having difficulties promoting and selling them, as people do not seem to appreciate that kind of work. As time goes by and things do not appear to be changing for the better, Peter is adviced to make other kinds of paintings. Peter is unwilling to change his ideas and comes up with shocking and sinister ways to be creative.

 

This feature begins as a story about self-discovery and achieving one's goals and gradually turns into a psychological horror film about obsession. The film centres on Peter's stubbornness in not accepting the fact that his self-portraits are not enough for him to have a career and how that affects his life and his relationship with his agent, who has been trying very hard for ages to promote his art.

 

There are scenes that involve characters who are irrelevant to Peter and his friend and these scenes contain people who are bleeding from chest injuries. These wounds could be a metaphor for their emotional traumas that will never completely heal.

 

Valladao delivers a dramatic and dark performance as a struggling artist who firmly believes in the art that he creates and refuses to let anyone convince him that he needs to change his artistic ways. He thinks that other forms of paintings are no good because they lack a 'soul'. Generally, he comes across as a talented and hard-working painter but also as an antisocial, isolated, narcissistic and disturbed person. No is his supportive friend, who is desperately trying to convince him to create other kinds of paintings in order to progress in the art industry.

 

The filming clearly took place on a low budget, as it shows throughout the movie. Nevertheless, that does not hide the creativity and hard work that was put into this project.

 

Regarding the music, William Choo develops a score that is dramatic and sinister and includes wonderful sounds of piano and violin and the addition of the song Rose and Air by Edo Notarloberti is a huge plus.

 

It should be mentioned that this movie is not for sensitive viewers as it contains shocking scenes that show wounds bleeding and self-harm. These are shown in closeup and they are hard to watch and thanks to Joanna Csillag's work in the special effects and makeup department, they are rather realistic.

 

This dark feature is a character study about the life of a troubled man who only sees what he wants to see. The plot is about being different, focusing on ideas and it also explores themes of friendship, personal struggles, obsession and mental health disorder. The plot is intriguing and the final act is rather memorable. This is a film that will most likely leave a significant impression.

About the Film Critic
Jason Knight
Jason Knight
Indie Feature Film