Tar – Movie Reviews by Ry!

Tar – In Fate’s Symphony: The Power of Life’s Music

To live is to face the choices of the unseen.  We move through this path with certain goals, standing on platforms that blind us in hope.  Through all the successes we may have, how much pain comes to being on top?  In this review, I look at an indie/drama about the faults of success.  Through a slow burn narrative, a character’s dream becomes their worst nightmare.  With a strong lead, Tar is a methodical look at how music can be a shattering guise of life.

Having achieved superb success in classical music, world renowned composer Lydia Tar (Cate Blanchett) seems to be at the top of her game.  As she prepares for new feats, sinister secrets begin to chip away at her public façade.  At a crossroads, will she survive or fall into disgrace.  On the surface, this is a narrative of simple concepts, but builds further through methods of life’s consequences.  At the center you have Lydia Tar, a famed composer who has achieved the heights of her career.  Through the drop-in method, we witness her everyday routines through a slow burn layering of character building.  In the beginning, through conversational scenes we see the purpose of her motives of ‘how it is to be’ a composer of music.  The subtlety of methods is driven through these conversations, as the audience witnesses the complexity of her lifestyle.  Even through the indifference of living life in the ‘high arts’, it’s a reflection of due cause of just trying to survive.  Nothing is ever explained, and it is storytelling that builds through a ‘show not tell’ motif.  This directive creates a place where methods, schemes and attention to detail builds an experience that lives through raw endearment.  It is a story that wraps itself within characterizations of unpredictable grips, showcasing a double-edged sword of living for the music while being blinded by your success.  In that messaging, it is the riveting experience that turns this journey from a slow burning slog into a powerful narrative of the nature of power. 

As Lydia Tar is attempting to do the impossible, her fragile façade slowly becomes a target from the shadows.  As she straddles her musical career and secrets, it is a slow decay that drives chaos through its ‘show not tell’ motif.  As the struggle to ‘stay the course’ and ironically ‘face the music’, it becomes a riveting journey of life’s consequence.  As her career is falling apart, we move into a finale that becomes a reflection of power, a reset of purpose and a climax that highlights what it truly means to be a composer.  Tar is slow burn narrative that becomes an endearment on life’s discourse.  Even within its approach, the strong lead of Cate Blanchett drives this narrative.  If you are a fan of methodical storytelling and strong characters, this is one for you.  It is available on streaming, but I think it would have been fun seeing it on the big screen.

Full Score – 3.5 out of 5 (Matinee)

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