Watch The Electrical Life of Louis Wain
- 1 hr 51 min
The Electrical Life of Louis Wain is a biographical drama film released in 2021. It tells the story of Louis Wain, a real-life eccentric artist from the late 19th and early 20th centuries who is famous for his unique and whimsical paintings of cats. The movie explores Wain's life as he struggles to find his place in a world that struggles to understand his art.
Benedict Cumberbatch plays the titular character of Louis Wain, a shy and introverted man who initially starts painting as a hobby. However, he soon finds his passion in painting cats, which he sees as his muses. His art quickly gains popularity, and Wain becomes a household name amongst Victorian-era England, with his whimsical and captivating paintings adorning everything from pottery to postcards.
However, as Wain starts to gain more success, he is faced with several challenges. His sister, Emily (played by Andrea Riseborough), is diagnosed with a terminal illness, and Wain's financial troubles force him to sell his art to support his family. He also becomes entangled in a love triangle between his wife Emily, played by Claire Foy, and his wealthy patron, and becomes increasingly erratic in his behavior.
Despite these challenges, Wain's art continues to evolve with the advancement of technology. He experiments with electricity, creating animated paintings that show cats moving in vibrant displays of lights and movement, a technique which he calls "Electro-Graphi-Cats." The film's title refers to these experiments and the way they shaped both Wain's art and his life.
The Electrical Life of Louis Wain is a visual feast. The film uses CGI effects to recreate Wain's whimsical and surreal paintings, which litter the screen with hidden cat faces, droll captions, and other playful details. The film's production design also impeccably recreates the Victorian-era London setting, immersing the audience in Wain's world.
The movie explores the psychological quirks of Wain's character as well. Wain's love for cats is born out of his loneliness and struggles with mental illness. As a child, he lost his mother, and his fatherâs strict discipline makes him reclusive. Wain finds that cats offer him solace and companionship. Cumberbatch portrays Wain with an affectionate vulnerability that captures both his innocence and his eccentricities.
The supporting cast of the film is equally impressive. Claire Foy plays Emily, Wain's devoted wife, with grace and poise, offering a stark contrast to Wain's erratic tendencies. Andrea Riseborough is compelling as Emily's dying sister and Wain's closest confidante, providing many of the film's most emotional moments. Other notable performances include Toby Jones as Wain's art dealer and Hayley Squires as his devoted housekeeper.
The film's director, Will Sharpe, balances the eccentricity of Wain's character with the emotional gravity of his story. He handles Wain's hallucinations and delusions with sensitivity and delicacy, making it clear that his art was a form of self-expression and his lifeline.
Overall, The Electrical Life of Louis Wain is a poignant exploration of the life of an artist whose work lives on a century later. The film tells a story of passion, creativity, and mental health issues with reverence and sensitivity. It is a testament to the power of art and the importance of individuality in a world that all too often tries to stifle it.
The Electrical Life of Louis Wain is a 2021 drama with a runtime of 1 hour and 51 minutes. It has received moderate reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 6.8 and a MetaScore of 63.