Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Colour & Mixed Media: Hector and the Search for Happiness

Based on French novelist François Lelord's work entitled Le voyage d'Hector ou la recherche de bonheur, this film follows the life of an unfulfilled psychiatrist as he travels the world (well, a few countries) in search ofyou guessed ithappiness. While I am a huge fan of Simon Pegg (who takes on the titular lead), the story itself lacks a lasting emotional impact while the characters are stereotypical to the point of distraction. The latter qualm could be explained away via an argument for the 'clever' incorporation of archetypes, but such a move—if even it was the intention—simply did not hit home. The entire thing felt a bit too much like a whimsical version of Eat, Pray, Love...a novel which I detest that obviously did not improve my estimation. Still, as with any movie, this one has its merits. The usage of colour caught my attention from the very beginning when the opening shot displays a bright yellow bi-plane soaring through a sky filled with puffy, white clouds. This plane represents happiness in its purest form and, as various forces bring the plane down, so too do obstacles get in the way of Hector's ability to achieve that dream.

"Yellow...[is] associated with joy, happiness, intellect, and energy."
Color Wheel Pro

A photograph of Hector hugging his ex-girlfriend, Agnes (Toni Collette).
Agnes wears yellow; Hector believes that she is his only true source of happiness.

Hector sits opposite his current girlfriend, Clara (Rosamund Pike).
The vase of yellow flowers acts as a barrier between them.

A yellow train passes through a town someplace in Africa,
a place the film paints as shot through with only transient moments of happiness.

As I kept note of other instances of yellow when watching Hector and the Search for Happiness, I also noticed the periodic injections of mixed mediasomething which was more than welcome given the combination of the storybook theme and the part played by the art journal Hector uses to track his progress.

Hector leaves a Buddhist temple in China.
The dog—a dead pet—crops up from time to time...the symbolism is a tad vague.

Lots of plane trips!
I'd probably be happier if I could afford to fly off to multiple continents on a whim. -_-

Cute lil' globe-trotter, a home movie, and a purposefully crude collage.
(Yes, I now possess the power to gif. Mwahaha!)

Much like the home movie effect in the previous image,
this screencap displays a decoupage filter that gives off an air of nostalgia.

Line art of Hector's 'dog of the mind'. Beatific. :P

OK, so the movie wasn't terrible. The art director saved it by introducing a few elements of visual creativity that serve to capture the audience's attention long enough to carry them scene-to-scene. Still, I cannot recommend HatSfH in good conscience, even with my limitless love for Pegg. Sorry, bae. </3