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  • Writer's pictureStrictly Films

Tár; Grade: B-

Tár tells a story about a woman named Lydia Tar (Cate Blanchett) whom is considered one of the greatest composers-conductors of all time, truly a massive inspiration for women across the globe. Lydia on an everyday basis appears to be a regular human being, who is primarily focused on her job and nothing more. You would think a woman like Lydia Tar could do no wrong considering she’s a pretty normal woman with an average lifestyle? Apparently there could be some unexpected demons hiding in Lydia’s closet that are creeping in and in on her.

Tár was one of my most anticipated films of the year, considering the fact it was the return of filmmaker Todd Field, whom hasn’t made a film in over sixteen years! Todd Field has only made two films in his career: In the Bedroom and Little Children, both of which I highly recommend especially Little Children which was great. Something bout Field's way of story telling brings a great sense of realism to the table, as most of his films deal with everyday real problems we normally don’t see, especially the kind of human beings are displayed in his films as well.

It appears Todd Field has finally gotten inspiration to come back to write, simply by chiming in on another realistic everyday issue and that is cancel culture. The film takes quite a bit of time to achieve this theme at hand, but when it finally gets there… It surely becomes a much more comprehensible story to follow, as you finally understand what Field is trying to get at tackling on this theme at hand.

Lydia Tar is a very accomplished gal, as for awhile it really feels like she can’t do no wrong. Surely she has opinions that can rub people the wrong way, as we experienced a moment early on in a class where Lydia tells it like it is to a naive student, who is critiquing music the wrong way as the student is more focused on their real life than the art they made themselves. As for awhile: We’re brought to an assumption that Lydia just lives a normal life, feeling immensely unbothered. She works, she hangs out with her lover and child time to time, she travels, she eats… I mean for awhile you come to question what’s the point of this story, considering it’s just watching a woman doing regular things?!

But it slowly develops, as it turns out Lydia is not all what she seems. Apparently her past has some secretive demons the public eye doesn’t know about, which involves in a very sensitive matter that later develops into a devastating tragedy. The way this is all handled in the film doesn’t go through the normal way of storytelling we often see in films of this caliber, as the way it’s presented felt resembled to Lydia doing everyday life. I feel what Field was trying to do with this conflict, is this kind of conflict now a days can disguise itself into being a common everyday thing. I mean look at everyday life: How often do we see on a regular everyday basis, that a celebrity is hunted down for cancelation amongst social media?! It’s just the norm now as it just an everyday routine, with no regard to how is can effectively damage someone’s image and life as a whole.

I also found the whole manipulation sequence, with regards to how one recorded and edited Lydia’s classroom sequence quite accurate. I feel now a days when it comes to social media trying to tear down a human being… They often display an article headline or a video, without bringing complete context. There is no doubt that the video of Lydia is chopped and edited to the point where it’s unbelievable, however considering the low IQ of most people on social media, they’ll believe the video is real simply by the idea that their minds have been completely damaged by social media, not recognizing fake to reality. So many people in this world have been tarnished by people not getting complete context, which can result into people being in a difficult place they shouldn’t be in the first place.

This film felt like a complete experience of one whom is highly successful, suddenly having their life go downhill through the elevation of cancel culture. I mean look at the grand finale… How often do we see most celebrities, whom been harshly crucified in a country, suddenly have to shift gears to another country in which can find acceptance to move forward with their lives?! This film actually delivers an accurate display of this entire experience, as Todd Field finally has gotten his mojo in terms of what issue to display on the big screen as this is an impressive return.

I do feel Tár compared to Todd Field’s other works of art is his weakest entry thus far. Considering the two hours and thirty eight minute run time… Without a doubt the pacing of this film can be sufferable for a good chunk. It really takes it’s sweet time to develop itself to where the audience can finally be engaged on what they're watching, but for a good quarter to half of the run time, I was getting immensely frustrated begging the film to be less boring.

I feel on second rewatch whenever that day will be: Potentially this film will become better for me. I appreciate the performances, the lavish cinematography, the composed score, and even the striking storytelling when it does get there… But man I wish it was a bit more interesting before it gets there. 

Overall, Tár was a solid film. I recommend checking this one out, not for everyone especially if you’re an impatient person. -Mitch Smietana

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