‘Canvas’ Summary & Review – A Pursuit to Paint Again

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What makes a motion picture stand out from the others in the game? Is it the presence of several A-list actors or a character that makes you ponder over life itself? Is it the complex plots and storylines or a subtle portrayal of complex emotions? The first directorial solo outing of Frank E. Abney, one of the most prolific animators of Pixar, has churned out a plethora of emotions through his beautifully crafted Canvas.

The sheer minimalism followed by Abney in Canvas is a cinematic brilliance that is worthy of praise as I have never been so moved by anything in under 9 minutes. That’s all it took to imprint itself and leave me with introspective dialogues with my brain without having a single dialogue itself. Today’s cinema yearns for catchy and impactful dialogues and monologues to show us how flawed or flawless a human can be but in the case of Canvas the story is enough and a sense of solitude is achieved in the silence of words.

If we look around and observe our surroundings, we will come across a million people who have lost the zeal to follow their passion, they want to do the things they love but several problems have shrouded the enthusiasm which was once evident from a distance. What happened? Sometimes people blame themselves and sometimes they try to console themselves by putting it on others, in both the cases something precious was lost, happiness.

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It deals with a grandfather who has lost all his drive to paint due to a certain reason and when nothing was helpful, he found the passion in one of the most unlikely ways. Abney has decorated the scenes with an effortless charm, everything falls in place and his roots from Pixar are quite generously visible. The colour variations are amazing to watch with a subtle enhancement of the whole thing due to a mindful choice of colours on the screen. The younger generation and the support it can have on elders is perfectly given by the daughters and the whole thing works like clockwork.

The story allows us to understand the concept of despair in distance and the need for cohabitation with someone for a period when no one is around. The sadness due to lost love can be reduced by making sure you do things passionately enough to make the world happy rather than yourself. Canvas doesn’t speak anything in words but the emotions conveyed by it but possess a lot of gravity in its abstract nature.

Netflix has widened the scope in animation by inculcating such genius shorts and after watching this film, all I could ask for is more content-driven projects irrespective of its running time.


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Canvas is streaming on Netflix.

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Shreshtha Shukla
"Thou art the suffering from which unwarranted melancholia emerges" Shreshtha Shukla is a writer, teacher, and a film enthusiast.

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