Tar review | Film makes a powerful portrayal of machismo and power relations

Tar review |  Film makes a powerful portrayal of machismo and power relations

The drama Tár, directed by Todd Field (Intimate Sins) and starring Cate Blanchett (Don’t Look Up), has just arrived in Brazilian cinemas. Almost three hours long, the film highlights themes such as abuses committed behind the scenes in classical music and sexism in power relations. All this, of course, without forgetting to address dilemmas such as the difficulty of separating the artist from the work and issues that permeate feminism and sorority.

  • January 2023 cinema releases
  • tar | Oscar-nominated film addresses abuse in classical music; meet

Acclaimed by the Academy, the feature received six Oscar nominations 2023, being nominated for Best Picture, Best Direction for Field, and Best Actress for Blanchett. And you can’t deny that the feature deserves it. With a remarkable and well-connected plot, the work tells the story of Lydia Tár, a successful conductor who has an apparently perfect life.

Heads up! This review may contain spoilers for Tar.

Powerful character and direction

Rich, beautiful and, above all, powerful, she has conquered everything she wants, including the respect of the men who surround her. At the height of her career and working at the Berlin Philharmonic, Lydia is preparing for a live recording of Gustav Mahler’s Symphony No. 5—one of her biggest professional challenges. What she didn’t imagine, however, is that her life would fall apart shortly afterwards.

With an intelligent text and an acidic humor, Tár leads us through the life of an extremely captivating, albeit serious, character. The credit, of course, goes to Field’s script and direction, but especially to Blanchett’s beautiful performance, who manages to give the character the necessary depth and let every facet of her shine through at the ideal moment.

Lydia Tár is firm, strong and magnanimous, but Blanchett manages to make her vulnerable when needed and mesmerizing when convenient. The protagonist is the only focus of the film — perhaps that’s why it bears her name — since the work does not delve into any of the supporting characters. This fact does not bother, but there is no denying that it would be interesting to see a little more of his dynamics with his wife Nina (Sharon Goodnow) and their young daughter.

Over the nearly three hours of the film, we see how Lydia manages to impose herself and control everyone around her, and how she tries to circumvent the machismo that surrounds her, despite corroborating with it at certain times. An example of this happens when she is accused of harassing a musician who was part of her orchestra and who, by not giving in to her advances, ends up losing all professional opportunities and, later, takes her own life.

In addition, the protagonist faces problems in her marriage when she approaches a new cellist who joins her team. These behaviors end up taking on large proportions and are responsible for making your life go away. Added to this is also the fact that Tár was the victim of a malicious manipulation of a video, in which she appears hurling insults at an LGBT+ student.

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Success lives in the details

If there’s one thing you can’t deny, it’s that Tar is a film with little dialogue and little action. With a still narrative, the long minutes may even bother some viewers, but it is essential to not leave loose ends.

In addition to a good text, the film also focuses on precise details, which corroborate the critical success. The photography created by Florian Hoffmeister (True Detective) uses dark and cold colors to convey the distancing of the characters and the coldness of the protagonist.

The costumes used by Lydia translate well to her personality, moving away from the classic performance of femininity and passing through gender. Another important detail, which may go unnoticed, is how the protagonist repeatedly washes her hands and has methodical ways of performing certain actions — which demonstrates an attempt, sometimes failed, to control everything around her.

Slow start and pedantry can tire

If the details are impressive, some points bother, like the pedantry in certain scenes of the film that approach technical terms related to classical music. The text does not make the slightest attempt to explain them and leaves the viewer to see ships.

In addition, the beginning of the film borders on unbearable, with good minutes of a black screen displaying the names of the technical team of the feature while a song (very boring) is played in the background.

masterful ending

Although some points bother, Tár manages to be incredible at almost all times. However, none of them come close to the end, especially the scene in which Lydia fights for her position as conductor in the orchestra — it is not worth going into details in order not to spoil the best scene in the film too much.

With a breathtaking performance, Blanchett delivers a scene that leaves the viewer speechless with such strength. Thus, it is possible to conclude that Todd Field’s film is indeed a spectacle worthy of all the Oscar nominations it received, and deserves to be watched by all.

And if you want to give Tar a chance, you can watch it in theaters now. To do so, simply guarantee your entry at Ingresso.com.