Martin Teller's Movie Reviews

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Tabu

Posted by martinteller on February 27, 2014

This movie deserves a better writeup than what I’m about to give it.  It’s certainly a different type of film, and I like different.  I often make comparisons between movies in my mind while watching and in my reviews afterwards.  This one didn’t particularly remind me of anything or anyone, except maybe a dash of Weerasethakul.  “Different” and “Weerasethakul” ought to be big selling points for me, but the film left me very cold.  There are a few really wonderful moments — most of them involving the excellent use of sound and music — but for the most part I found it a slog to get through.  The first half felt ponderous and aimless.  Some of it pays off in connections with the second half, but that part of the film wasn’t much easier for me.  The even-toned voiceover (there is no diegetic dialogue in the second half) put me at a distance and rarely engaged my interest.

I also have to say this: stories with romantic outlooks on extramarital affairs are usually going to turn me off.  Whatever charm there may have been in the love between Gian Luca and Aurora was thus lost on me, as neither of them gave a moment’s thought to her husband (at least from the perspective of Gian Luca’s reflections).  I thought this movie did some interesting things, and would undoubtedly benefit from a second viewing (where its messages about colonialism would likely resonate more as well).  I would like to take a second crack at it one day, especially since it seems to have beguiled many other cinephiles.  This first time around, however, I responded very little to it.  Rating: Fair (65)

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