Review: The Electrical Life Of Louis Wain (#PFF30)

Home » Review: The Electrical Life Of Louis Wain (#PFF30)


Dashingly vibrant visuals cannot distract from an otherwise ho-hum biopic that fails to capitalize on the dazzling performances from Benedict Cumberbatch and Claire Foy in The Electrical Life of Louis Wain. 

The film tells the true story of British artist Louis Wain (Cumberbatch) who used his peculiar personality and personal experiences to become the world’s most renowned cat artist. As far as period pieces go, The Electrical Life of Louis Wain is a beautiful cinematic achievement with stunning costumes and sets. The story, however, never quite shifts from neutral, instead trying to milk too much out of a remarkable artist’s story. Cumberbatch and Foy are at their best here, both fully committed to the roles and sharing fantastic chemistry. The former is given the opportunity to explore a looser character in ways that we have not seen from him before, riding the line between downright silly and personally conflicted due to likely diagnosable eccentricities. It sadly isn’t enough to distract from underdeveloped plot and lack of interesting developments.

You would think that a film about an elite cat artist would focus mostly on that piece of his career, but that isn’t what happens here. Though his history is important to set the stage for his later successes, the whole cat thing takes a backseat, save for a short period in the second act. I’m not sure what I was expecting with this one, but it seems to me that the story if Louis Wain would have been better suited for a documentary rather than a dull drama. What are we to take from this film? That remains a mystery.

The Electrical Life of Louis Wain hits Amazon Prime Video Friday.

Rating: 2/5

Photo from Variety

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