Monday, August 10, 2015

Le tableau/The Painting (2011)

Some movies I watch because I want to watch them.  Either they have an actor I like or the trailers look interesting.  Some movies I watch to see how bad they are.  Usually, these are the ones that have a reputation for being bad.  They may be on one of those combo packs, in which case I’m just looking for a review.  There are others that I come across that I want to watch just to see how they handled special effects or subject matter.

When I came across The Painting on Netflix, I added it to my list.  It’s about characters in an unfinished painting that go in search of the painter.  I had wanted to see how they put painted characters in the real world, but kept putting off watching it.  I knew that it was supposed to be an allegory for class.  There was also the issue of the characters finding their creator.  Either aspect could come across as contrived if not handled well.  Eventually, curiosity got the better of me.

In the movie, there are three classes: Allduns, Halfies and Sketchies.  Allduns are those that are fully painted.  Halfies are partially painted.  Sketchies, as you might expect, are just rough sketches.  Allduns live in luxury, leaving the others to fend for themselves in a garden.  Even those that are nearly finished aren’t good enough for the Allduns to associate with.  Several of the characters go out to find The Painter, hoping that he will complete the painting.  (At the very least, he might at least explain why he abandoned the painting.)

The CGI was almost obvious, especially when the painted characters cross over into the real world.  This isn’t necessarily a bad thing and may have been intended, as they’re basically from a two-dimensional world.  They leave their painting and search several other paintings, which serve as portals to a shared universe.  They explore this universe before going to find The Painter.

There were a few scenes where it seemed like it was geared towards younger audiences.  There is some artistic nudity and one scene where Death chases the characters, but I don’t recall anything that would scar anyone for life.   It seems like the kind of movie that would be appropriate for teenagers and above.  The movie doesn’t hit us over the head with class issues.  We see what the lower-class characters have to go through, but rather than make us feel sorry for them, we get to see them attempt to do something about it.

It was also fairly obvious that The Painter was supposed to represent The Creator.  (Why would The Painter/The Creator abandon them?  Why would he allow them to suffer?)  It didn’t seem preachy.  Instead, it was incorporated into the story line fairly well.  (The characters even wonder who created their creator.)

This ended up being one of the better Netflix finds.  The only problem I had was that I was forced to go with the subtitles.  I’m not sure if there’s an English dub, but I usually like having the option.  I’d definitely recommend watching the movie if you get a chance.

IMDb page

The Painting - Now on DVD [Official US Trailer]

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