Tár (2022)

Tár (2022)
Tár (2022)

Movie Details

Tár (2022)
Director:Todd Field
Cast-Cate Blanchett,Noémie Merlant,Nina Hoss
Movie type- Musical/Drama
Release date-7 October 2022
IMDB Rating-7.4
Languages- Hindi, Tamil, Telugu, Malayalam, Oriya, Urdu, Tulu, Assamese,English, German, and Filipino
Duration-2 Hour 38 Minute


Tár (2022)


Originally an actor, Todd Field began to focus more on directing and screenwriting work at the turn of the millennium, which resulted in the acclaimed dramas In the Bedroom and Like Little Children. However, he hasn’t filmed anything in the last decade and a half, which seemed extremely suspicious – and above all, sad. He dabbled in a number of projects, but none of them came to fruition. During the pandemic, however, he managed to write the script directly on Cate Blanchett’s body, and the actress also took on the role of producer for the project. Of course, thanks to this, a very long psychological drama full of ambiguities managed to be brought to an end; and the end of an undoubtedly very successful one.

“Not everyone can conduct. This is not democracy,” the titular heroine Lydia Tár shows her exclusivity. And the same applies to this review, because later in the film it turns out that the main character’s surname has even more in common with the Hungarian spellcaster Béla than it seems at first glance. Also, the length of this Oscar favorite, exceeding the target of two and a half hours, suggests that no one else should attempt this work. But jokes aside, despite the obvious attack on various awards, Field’s film is definitely not an easy piece to digest, and more demanding viewers will have to go against it.

The story about the fictitious conductor Lydia Tár is full of abbreviations and omissions, so we can (and even have to) imagine some details. We meet her at the moment when she gives an interview on the prestigious New York stage, thanks to which we also learn about the milestones of her very successful career so far. Since we’re catching her at her absolute peak, the assumption is that we’ll be watching her gradual downfall stemming from her personality flaws; but this really isn’t a typical biopic, regardless of the fictionality of the character.

Lydia lives primarily in Berlin, where together with her wife Sharon (also the first violinist of her orchestra) she raises her little daughter Petra. Her assistant, Francesca, makes sure that Lydia’s busy schedule runs according to plan – which she certainly does at first. Lydia works with the Berlin Philharmonic on her beloved Gustav Mahler’s Fifth Symphony, and we don’t really know where the story is going for quite a while.

Over time, the story is enriched by the arrival of the uncouth Russian cellist Olga, who impresses Lydia not only with her passion for music. News about the mysterious girl Krista, a former member of Lydia’s troupe who had to leave under strange circumstances, returns to this as an echo of the past. The film subtly suggests that in this case there was inappropriate behavior on the part of Lydia, apparently of a sexual nature. But we’ll never know exactly what happened—as the movie says, “accusation equals conviction,” so we’re watching cancel culture in action.

Some comments criticized Field that the film forces us to sympathize with an anti-heroine who (apparently) treats her family and co-workers in a toxic way. However, this is an overly simplistic view, completely ignoring the deep-seated contradiction of many of the character’s characteristics. As in the case of the recent films of Arvéd or Elvis , the main character escapes clear categorization, escapes even our evaluation criteria, with which we could describe him with a few adjectives. At first glance, the film cannot be considered a puzzle that could be solved by repeated viewings.

This is of course completely fine, but the real consequence of such an approach is also coldness and detachment, due to which the viewer cannot experience the same emotional catharsis as the titular heroine experiences when listening to music. One can recall the recent documentary KaprKód , composing an image of an unreadable personality through an opera full of alienating elements – including a reflection of the inevitable distortion related to the film medium itself. With its atmosphere, the restlessness of the main character and the work with sound,

is also reminiscent of last year’s Memoria by Apichatpong Weerasethakula, which more daring viewers could enjoy in Vary. However, Field’s work is undoubtedly a significantly more conventional drama – although, is that really true?

The oddities and confusing moments layered especially in the last third make it possible to read the work as an innovatively realistic ghost story with an unreliable titular narrator. This is also evidenced by the ambiguous, from a certain point of view, very cheesy ending, and indeed the very first shot showing that there is always someone with a mobile phone camera on around a media-famous personality.

However, the interesting topics that the film offers to the viewer do not end there. Lydia cares a lot about music, she experiences it, but at the same time, perhaps she cares too much about how the result of her work will look in front of people – that’s why she wants to hear the long-prepared recording only in mp3 format, just like ordinary listeners. But at the same time she prefers to keep her distance from them, literally trying not to get dirty with them – perhaps this is exacerbated by the admittedly covid period in which the story takes place, but Lydia anxiously rubs her hands every time she comes into contact with something that does not agree with her view of the world and what he wants to wash away immediately. At the same time, she also hurts the feelings of the people around her, but not in any clearly psychopathic way, rather it seems that a certain austerity is necessary for her to navigate the confusing waters of social relations, which distance her from devoting herself to music on a level, which he needs to live. Again, ambiguities, ambivalence, and questions prevail.

Most of the time, Florian Hoffmeister’s unobtrusive camera moves to very long takes a few times, either to sense a musically significant moment or for reasons that will be revealed later – this is the case for a single shot from Lydia’s lecture at the prestigious Juilliard School of the Arts, where she advises students to suppress their identity and values ​​in favor of the quality of the final work. This in itself is worth thinking about, and it cannot be said that the viewer should unequivocally side with the renowned conductor or, conversely, the student in question. However, Field, through Cate Blanchett’s acting gig, goes a little further and makes us unsure whether these soaring declarations are not in themselves mainly a performative gesture, Lydia’s attempt to win over the rising generation with her genius and penetrating intellect.

Play the trailerOf course, Blanchett attracts the most attention, after all, she basically does not disappear from the screen during the entire footage. Her Oscar chances are also boosted by the fact that the actress learned to conduct, speak German and brush up on her ability to play the piano for the role. At the same time, these fun facts might not interest us at all, one of the themes of the film is, after all, the separation of the artist from his work. It seems that historically we don’t have a problem with this and relatively easily overlook the documented declines of genius composers (or other artists) with the fact that it was simply a different time; however, we are far from being so lenient towards contemporary creators.

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