|Page 1 of 2:|| |
|Index||14 reviews in total|
A safari hunter drifts across the starched heat of the African plains,
stealthily prowling amongst the tall grass, the scorching shimmering
sunlight falls upon the shadows of predatorial lions, hungry hippos and
the gleaming jaws of the crocodile. A vinyl recording of 60s rock 'n'
roll echoing over time through generations suggest a nostalgic
remembrance of a distant land, which later plays a greater significance
in a saga of unrequited love, regret and (literally) life and death.
Initially, Tabu is a love story in disguise, a unfinished love story sprawling over a lifetime of passion, regret, duty and propriety. In it's latter stages it contemplates ideas of memory, unrequited love, ageing, class inequality, prejudice, and European colonialism in African hills and plains.
The first part follows the life of an enigmatic elderly woman in contemporary Portugal - titled Paradise Lost - as she goes about her daily life, we learn snippets about her about her prosaic hobbies, simple pleasures, prejudices, idiosyncrasies, detests, and regrets over a sobering simple lifestyle, a long way from the dream life she idolised. Her simple pleasures have allowed her to gamble away her savings and her estranged family by doing so; in her current state, she had little left except her dedicated maid and carer Pilar who initially acts as the audience's eyes and ears into the portrait of a solitary woman.
What is the intriguing background to this lady's prime of beauty and youth? The modern landscape of metropolitan Lisbon, Portugal is industrial, bleak and sobering, at times sad and efficient, a far world from that which she inhabited in her youth. It is not long until what find out the origins of her melancholy and frustration, and what exactly has been trying to atone for most of her later life.
So begins a tale in colonial Africa, a tale of love and betrayal, rock 'n' roll, diamonds, and an alligator. This second part, subtitled Paradise is almost silent with only diegetic sound imposed during key moments with no title cards as far as I can remember. It is a wonderfully romantic and nostalgic yet with an undercurrent on living the edge of a precipice - the dangerous beasts of the African plains, the wild unfamiliar natives and rugged landscape - there exists a sense of tragedy combined with high passion, regret and wild party impulses.
Whereas part one is melancholic as it is bitter and comic, the second part contrasts the beauty of youth, the blinding African heat and sun, it exposes the storytelling medium the by abandoning almost all dialogue and all but some diegetic sound effects. The compositions and framing are gorgeous, a simple story of unrequited love requiring little explanation and is suggested by moods, looks, and atmosphere and nostalgic memories. The economy in telling a story almost wordlessly, embraces the feelings and mood of silent storytelling placing the onus of eliciting emotion on the charismatic and effortless performances. From the frustrating, fussy and capricious Aurora to the charismatic, carefree, jeunesse Ventura and the supporting jaunty characters, each signify the contrasts in class, social status and the colonial class system soon to collapse under political revolution.
What is essentially an unrequited love story /melodrama is a charismatic and rollicking passionate ride with some crystal sharp compositions in textured black and white. This is an impressive, technically creative, charismatic, heartbreaking, melancholic and nostalgic film; perhaps more daring and arguably less conventional than that other lauded silent film of last year. Tabu is gorgeously unpredictable, surprising and artful.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
The title Tabu is one that looms large over film history recalling the
collaboration of two pillars of silent cinema, F.W. Murnau and Robert
J. Flaherty, about a forbidden love story (the film's taboo) between a
fisherman and a holy maid, and splits its story between two clear
sections titled "Paradise" and "Paradise Lost". In Gomes' film, we
begin with a prologue of a Portuguese man's expedition to Mozambique in
search of his lover's soul, ending in him being devoured by alligators
and being reborn as one, before moving to the first section of the
film, titled "Paradise Lost". In it, we follow María, a woman activist
who's neighbour with a senile lady with a gambling addiction by the
name of Aurora, and her African maid Santa. Aurora is poor and raving
madly about her fictitious exploits in Africa and her strange dreams of
being raped by apes, all the while being suspicious of Santa, accusing
her of voodoo witchcraft. Eventually the woman's health declines
rapidly, and as a last wish she asks María to look for a man called
Ventura. María eventually finds Ventura but is unable to bring him to
Aurora before her death. After the funeral, Ventura joins with María
and Santa and begins telling the story of his affair with Aurora
(played by the beautiful Ana Moreira), where he confirms she did
actually live in Mozambique, and where he tells of his forbidden
romance with her while she was pregnant of her husband's baby. Here we
begin the section titled "Paradise", detailing the story of their
affair and of their Portuguese social circle, back when Mozabique was
still a colony, which makes up the larger bulk of the film.
One of the aspects that surprises outright is just how brilliantly Gomes manages to capture this story from an aesthetic point of view. Visually the film is of course emulating an older style of filmmaking, right down to the choice of working in an academic ratio (1.37:1), but his visual style is perhaps less reminiscent of Murnau's, and rather seems to emulate 50s Kenji Mizoguchi and early Satyajit Ray. There is that same remarkably organic, unimposing and ever so elegant kind of black and white photography which is harder and harder to find today (even the first half which is filmed in contemporary Lisbon), all the while the film works with a very limited array of sounds and music providing a background for a story told otherwise entirely through the voice-over of Ventura.
The voice-over eventually leads to many labyrinthine stories regarding the lives of many people he met in Mozambique, not least the members of his own rock n' roll band, specifically Mario to whom Ventura was a sort of right hand man. The stories are all vivid and told with great detail and humour, but essentially they are a smokescreen to what's otherwise a very simple tragedy of forbidden love, beautifully told. In many ways, even through these many decade-spanning branches, the film's narrative closely resembles the works of Gabriel García Márquez. The love story at the heart of it is one forbidden due in large part to the social aspect, that Aurora is a pregnant, married woman, but all throughout the film there's another side suggesting the nature of this affair's forbiddance is also of a divine kind - it is, precisely, taboo. There are many elements of magical realism at play, from the cryptic opening tale to the encounters with witch-doctors and seers, the latter foreboding the tragic end to the affair. Even the location, set around a fictional Mount Tabu, and the attitude adopted by Dandy, Aurora's pet alligator, seem to plot to make their fates meet. There is a strong mystical power at play, one that, like many of Márquez's most classic works, seems to exist as an unholy hybrid between local and European beliefs product of colonization.
Evidently, this affair is doomed from the start. The inversion of the original Tabu titles, leading to an almost sardonic remark over the latter section, allows us to see and know these characters' fate before we see their relationship progress, and thus the development of their relationship is all the more arduous and cathartic.
In the Q&A with Miguel Gomes, he mentioned that he had no ulterior motives to tell this story, no overlapping ideas as he does not consider himself to be a smart man and therefore does not consider his ideas "worthy" enough to sustain a film (perhaps in admitting that he's smarter than a vast majority of the filmmakers in the BAFICI), but instead he concentrates on catching glimpses, moments and developing a story out of them. Effectively this is not a film of big ideas and enlightenment, roughly the overarching themes could be related to adultery and natural law with hints of a cultural clash and the likes, but it's never really about that. It's about creating a story that's affecting like no other, and that he's managed to create. With this, Gomes becomes a cinematic force to be reckoned with, and one I'll be following very closely from now on.
This is a tough film to discuss in 500 words. It's so multifaceted,
textural and moody. I'll try my hardest, but from the off, I must
suggest that you just experience Tabu for yourself. You may have a
different experience or opinion to me, you may feel the exact same.
Either way, you won't regret it.
Borrowing the name, two-part structure and love affair-plus-colonisation premise from F.W. Murnau's 1931 classic, Miguel Gomes' Tabu is a film of unmistakable vintage. But it's magnificently subversive too. With one foot in the past, one in the future and a head orbiting in it's own artistic universe, it's a little thing of beguiling beauty.
Tabu opens with a tragicomic prologue centring around an exasperated explorer trekking through the harsh jungles of Southern Africa. Through Gomes' voice-over narration, we learn that he is distraught over the death of his wife some years ago, and this lost adventure will be his last. No crocodile tears on display, but there is an ominous little croc that lingers through the sequence - and the rest of the film - with cold, mournful eyes. In a word, stunning.
From here, we begin with the chapter "A LOST PARADISE". In something that resembles a present day Lisbon, we meet our leading lady Aurora (Laura Soveral). A compulsive gambler whose memories are slipping away from her, yet images of hairy monkeys and African farmers still manage to pervade her dreams. Whilst she tries to recall her youth with altruistic next-door-neighbour Pilar (Teresa Madruga) and Santa (Isabel Cardoso), a black woman whom Aurora often woefully calls a housemaid/tyrannous witch, the fatalism of the prologue suggests that Aurora will only be able to relive her glory days in the afterlife.
Cue part 2, "PARADISE". Told through vivid flashbacks and narration from former lover Gian- Luca Venture, we're finally made aware of Aurora's past once lost. Married to a wealthy farmer in the idyllic rural setting of Mozambique, Aurora embarks on a fiery affair with the devilishly handsome nomad Ventura, after her eager pet crocodile crossed the forbidden line into his neighbouring garden. It's a time of lost innocence and furtive whispers, so Gomes decides to strip away all forms of diegetic sound, leaving just the bodies and faces of incredible actors Ana Moreira and Carloto Cotta to express this simple, enduring love.
Like Leos Carax's comeback success Holy Motors, Tabu is a film entrenched in film history and scholarly technique (unsurprising considering that they both started out as film critics). But Gomes goes one step further. Filmed in intoxicating black & white by cinematographer Rui Poças, Tabu is beautifully photographed; from the alarmingly stark opening image of a sweaty explorer looking lost in an African jungle, to the final image of a baby crocodile turning away from the camera and crawling out of frame. In an inspired touch, the two halves are filmed in different film stocks the first in familiar 35mm, and the second in exquisitely old-fashioned 16mm. They mingle together to create a film with a perennial quality, existing as a piece of cinematic artifice but with a modern, reflexive twist.
Similarly, the sound construction is unnervingly good. Mixing the deadened silence with ambient sounds, poetic narration and a Portuguese rendition of "Be My Little Baby" (made famous by The Ronettes) the composite sonisphere speaks for the unspoken, tabooed love to exceptionally powerful effect.
Because the film's aesthetic is so dazzling, it's easy to lose track of the whimsical storyline. Based on diary entries and private letters, it has a very nostalgic feel, similar to Chris Marker's Sans Soleil. Just like that film, Tabu isn't a perfect movie, there's pacing issues and Gomes seems to be wrestling with three separate endings. But there's enough moments of unforgettable virtuosity, grace and intellect to make Tabu unmissable.
More reviews at www.366movies.com
I watched Tabu knowing very little about it and found the film a real
treat to watch, but however I will try to avoid giving too much away as
this is one of those films that are best to watch not knowing too much.
The whole viewing experience is very rewarding, not just emotionally,
but also in that your required patience is amply rewarded. Though the
entire film is shot in black and white, the two different stories are
told in differing stylistic ways, making Tabu a very fitting tribute to
The first half, firstly being set in the present day, has almost a surrealist feel to it, with some apparently random moments and new characters being introduced suddenly. This does require your attention and anyone could be forgiven for wondering where the hell the film is going. However, as the first half reaches its inevitable conclusion and we enter the second half, this is where Tabu becomes an engaging and emotionally rewarding film. Many of the supposedly random moments of the first half now fit in perfectly as we are revealed what happened when Aurora was a young woman living in Africa.
The second half is a rather simple story of an illicit love affair that could never be but is told in an emotionally powerful way, enhanced by the framed narrative structure and deeply mournful narration of who we discover to be the man she loved. The power of the voice over is enhanced by the completely different stylistic approach of the second half, the only dialogue throughout is the voice over of Aurora's lover and the whole second half is shot in 16mm. The poignant reflections of the narrator can easily be interpreted as also being the director's and perhaps us the viewer's feelings towards silent era cinema of a bygone age. This stylistic approach is very much purposeful, all other diagetic sounds can be heard, and the characters are physically talking to each other. The emotional power is only enhanced by the fact all we can hear is the non-diagetic narration and having to otherwise rely on expressions and body language of the characters. Part two feels like a two sided approach to love of the past; a past loved one and a love of cinema of the past.
Despite the main subject of the story at hand, Tabu is not a completely bleak film, the playful use of different cinematic techniques and music are a joy to watch and the catharsis of the ending leaves a feeling of poignancy but not abject misery. There are however elements to Tabu that may frustrate. It feels that the protagonist of part one is Pilar, Aurora's neighbour and her story does feel frustratingly unfinished as we see elements of her daily life that make us truly care about her as these moments have literally nothing to do with Aurora. However, this is the story of Aurora through the eyes of those around her and in that case the stylistic approach of part one in retrospect fits with that of part two. The surrealist and playful approach to narrative structure in part one may seem pretentious and potentially alienating to some, but after watching the entire film I could only look back at it with positive feelings.
Original and unique, Tabu is a thoroughly engrossing and emotionally rewarding story that serves not only as a tribute to human love, but also love of the history of cinema. The first thirty minutes or so may feel hard work at first, but what the remainder of the film has to offer more than amply rewards the viewer's patience.
A KVIFF viewing, the third feature-length work from Portuguese director
Miguel Gomes, which was among the contenders for the Golden Bear in
Berlin earlier this year, and wound up winning the FIPRESCI Prize and
Alfred Bauer Award.
The film is entirely in Black & White, which has a deceiving anachronism effect and injects an appeasing vigor to enliven the storyline. With being equally divided into two parts, the first half is the contemporary story between a middle-aged woman, Pillar and her senior neighbor Aurora (who is live alone with her black servant Santa, and strongly believes her estranged daughter and Santa are plotting against her); the second half is completely B&W silent, with an elaborate voice-over from Aurora's former lover Ventura, revealing a secret history about he and Aurora's love affair back in Africa half an century ago. It is a distinctively interesting composition, which contributes a pleasant illusion that we were watching a double-feature.
But by comparison, the first part is more austere and compelling while the second part is basically about a superfluously hackneyed liaison between a married woman and a romantic womanizer, the only worthiness is that it is between two white people in Africa, and if one intends to get some in-depth probe about the continent and its people, the film could hardly suffices this curiosity.
Between the female correlation in the first part, Pilar has a manifest momentum to propel the storyline, and ruefully there will not be a third paragraph to recount her story out of the lightly over-hyped second part, her story behind might own more worth to be revisited and explored. Teresa Madruga and Laura Soveral are spellbinding during their screen time, if only the second half could be reinterpreted in another way, the film could have been a fabulous essay about love, aging and mystery behind everyone's usual representation.
This is pretty astounding stuff. How apt and special, that so soon
after the untimely passing of Raoul Ruiz, another director in the
Hispanic world (that includes Portugal and the colonies) announces
himself as a bright new voice with this great work? And in the same
vein of multilateral realities blurring memory with storytelling as
Ruiz. It's almost perfectly metaphysical, and in line with the
phenomenon of recent interesting Hispanic filmmakers. Medem, Martel,
and now this guy.
Before we get to that, I'd like to say about this that it achieves by far one of the most important aspects in a filmit takes place in a profoundly characteristic world of its own, I expect I will be haunted for months by its sultry, languorous Africa. The atmosphere is one of mysterious beauty, waiting and sexual lassitude. The film has textures, smells. The sound work is perfectly sculpted. The camera is sometimes in Antonioni's turf of spatial meditation, sometimes in Herzog's found ecstasy, sometimes in Chris Marker's visual letters from memory.
So the fabric of the film is exceptional, that alone would be enough to earn an enthusiastic recommendation from me, but that is the basis for some pretty cool narrative threads, all pointing to storytelling as maps to the life behind the fabric of illusions.
The typical reading of the film is that split in two segments, 'Lost Paradise' and 'Paradise', we have an emotionally shattered old woman, and her backstory of much erotic exploration and tragic heartbreak in faraway Mozambique that explains who she was.
It is more interesting than that. The second part which is by far the most captivating, is a story an old friend tells of her, and as he tells it, he tells a million other stories, about friends, rock'n'roll frolicking, crocodiles as passion, boxing invisible enemies, jungle monsters and anticolonial revolution.
As he tells it, some of the puzzling obsessions of the delusional old woman we've known begin to make sense, her worry for a loose crocodile, apprehension of witchcraft and impassioned plea of having blood on her hands. Her ravings had basis after all, it matters that they are illusory images transmuted from actual events.
Now if you go back to the first segment, you will see that a recurring notion is how something may be imagined-imaginary, but the images can perturb or affect realitysee this in the old woman's dream of gambling that propels her to gamble the next day, in the catacomb imagined to be Roman, in the co-worker's talk of mass susceptibility.
Isn't this why cinema can work at all? Love?
The most delicious narrative aspect is just whose images are we watching? Is it the narrator or listener imagining the story? (a similar ploy is used in Raoul Ruiz' Three Crowns, where a sailor narrates stories of dreamlike sailing to a student, a great film)
Here's a possible clue of who the intrepid explorer is. Of course, all of them are in one way or the other, as are we venturing in the shared journey of exploring the old woman. The framing device however, is a film that Pilar is watching in the cinema, the film is about an 'intrepid and melancholic explorer' in the African savanna who is haunted by visions of his dead wife.
It comes first in the film, but it could be taking place at any time. Now Pilar is the main character of the first segment, but we know close to nothing of her, except that she is melancholic, lonely and wants to be of helpwe learn she is an activist, she arranges for a Polish girl to stay with her but the girl never shows up. To emphasize her solitude, it's the New Year's Eve in Lisbon which she spends crying in a theater.
And she is staying next to an old woman (she is not getting younger herself), who is losing it and near the end, 'dying'. So who is imagining from the old woman's ravings a life of excitement and escape into scorching faraway heat?
So, this is great. It would be even more exciting, if for instance there was dissonance between what the narrator says and what we see perhaps the affair and sundry magical elements are being imagined to 'spice up' the story. Two stories, the spoken triggering the visual.
Martel has even more submerged narrative in this mode. But this is too good to passGomez shows mastery in creating a cinematic aura, and he gets how a story can be about noodling with the shape (the air) of story to give us images that describe urges.
(if readers can help with contact info for the filmmaker, that'd be great)
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Sometimes I think critics include a movie on their top 10 lists simply
because it's the last one they remember seeing. That might be the case
with "Tabu," which showed up on more than one list, but isn't nearly as
interesting a film as it pretends to be, or as the critics who rave
about it seem to think it is.
"Tabu" is full of auteur tricks and cinephile homages. It borrows its name from an obscure FW Murnau silent, it's filmed in black and white and utilizes two different film speeds, and the entire second half has no dialog, only voice-over. But underneath all those tricks is a surprising conventional film. Well, more precisely, two films.
After a brief interlude involving an intrepid explorer, a ghost and a crocodile, Part 1 begins, which is titled "Lost Paradise." It's about three women living in present-day Lisbon -- Pilar, her neighbor Aurora, and Aurora's African caretaker, Santa. Aurora is wildly dramatic, and probably senile. She sneaks away from Santa to gamble away any money she comes across. She corners Pilar one day and shares her fears that Santa is a servant of the devil who has imprisoned her and cast a curse upon them all. Of course the truth is much less dramatic, but Pilar still feels obligated to try and do something for her aging neighbor. And when her health takes a turn for the worse and Aurora asks her only friend to track down a man she once knew, of course Pilar obliges her.
The man's name is Ventura, and he's not very hard to track down. The second half of the film, titled "Paradise," is his recounting of his relationship with Aurora; the entire thing is narrated by him but acted out like something from "Unsolved Mysteries" -- the actors on the screen speak but we never hear their words, only ambient sounds around them. It is an interesting way to portray a memory, to keep us aware that this isn't happening, it's being remembered. But really - an hour of flashback? The contrivance grows old fast, and we never transition out of it into more immediate and direct storytelling.
The memory takes place in Mozambique, back when it was a Portuguese colony. Aurora is the beautiful bored wife of a rich merchant, and Ventura is a rake and a roustabout. He looks an awful lot like pirate Johnny Depp in "Chocolat." Of course this is the kind of guy you should never trust around your women, but Aurora's husband is out of town quite a bit, and there's the matter of a constantly escaping pet crocodile. Pretty soon they are in bed (Aurora and Ventura, not the crocodile) and not long after that they are in love. But she is pregnant, and the baby is her husband's, not her lover's. This is a love story that can only end in tragedy. (Which, of course, we already knew, because this is all being tragically remembered, mind you.)
So essentially, we have two movies -- the two parts are too stylistically different to be considered anything else. The first half is a quiet, borderline boring Euroflick about aging and loneliness. It has a vaguely Almodovarian feel, though there are no transvestites or ghosts, only a cadre of middle-aged women. The second half is more classical, and also more formulaic, reminiscent of sweeping, exotic romances from the golden age of Hollywood without ever approaching that kind of grandeur. (Indeed, it uses pretense to steer clear of that kind of grandeur and emotional intensity. Of it was as overheated and melodramatic as the movies it's emulating, it would probably be unbearably campy.) Both halves are decently made short films -- probably better than average, but I think for "Tabu" to really work, the two halves need to connect on a deeper level than the plot. And that never materializes. I want the two halves to comment on each other, to enrich each other in some way, but it's just not there. So really, all it amounts to is, "hey, you know that crazy old lady next door? She's got a quite a story, set in Africa, about infidelity and murder and crocodiles. Imagine that!"
"In all my films there is an urge for fiction," Mr. Gomes said in an interview with Slate. "There is a first part that begs for another film to appear, and it does because of our common desire." I'd say he's accomplished about half of that goal, twice over. While watching "Tabu," I kept waiting for another film to appear, a more interesting, more subtle and complex, more deeply layered film. But it never does. So I guess I'll move on to the next thing, and keep looking.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Who wants to see a film that's shot in black and white, is slow moving
and its second part is like a silent film? If the answer is yes then
you will be richly rewarded with Tabu. The Portuguese director Miguel
Gomes has made a strange poetic film.
A Portuguese film in two parts "Paradise Lost" and "Paradise." The bizarre short prologue transports us to a strange world where an intrepid explorer mourning a lost love gets eaten by a melancholic crocodile in Africa. The crocodile reappears throughout Tabu and accept for concluding that it represents an ancient old soul looking over the proceedings I'm not sure of its significance. The first part is set in modern Lisbon which appears to be full of bland apartment blocks. It explores the relationship between the kind melancholic Pilar (Teresa Madruga) and her gambling addicted; fading neighbor Aurora (Laura Soveral) who has a tendency to exaggerate and get lost in her vivid imagination Aurora is having problems with her housekeeper Santa (Isabel Cardoso). She believes Santa has turned her daughter against her with her black witchcraft. In between rescuing Aurora from the casino, Pilar goes to the cinema, joins the UN protests and shares time with her romantic painter man friend. The health decline of Aurora triggers the death bed request to see Gian Luca Ventura (Henrique Espírito Santo). Over coffee Gian shares another story of Aurora back in deepest darkest Africa.
We are transported back to another time and the film takes on another feel, romantic and sensual. Gomes referencing Sydney Pollack's epic romance Out of Africa begins the story with the immortal lines, "She had a farm in Africa." This part is without dialogue but features a finely scripted voice-over and the sounds of Africa. This section melodramatic and dreamlike details the doomed love affair between Aurora (Ana Moreira), and the seductive adventurer Gian (Carlota Cotta). Cotta looks and is framed like a silent film star, Moreira more like a star of French cinema of the sixties. In between the all-encompassing romance of the privileged whites the Africans toil away, in the fields, as servants, basically second class citizens. Throughout the film Gomes intentionally positions the whites as the ruling class whilst the blacks struggle to be heard. Yet this is never over emphasized.
Gomes has crafted a film that stays with you. Those moments in time A solitary tear awkwardly swiped away by the elder Gian recalling the loss of great love, the stony faced Santa eating the prawns given to her by the annoyingly kind Pilar, the first meeting of the young lovers almost unable to hide their attraction for each other, the bizarre performance of the boy band at the pool house. The performers are all excellent and Rui Pocas does a great job with the black and white cinematography.
The entire movie delivers a constant flat beat or the pulse of a corpse is an even better comparison. There is no emotional attachment to any of the characters, no suspense, no drama, no climax, no pay off and the dialogue is largely bland and generic. Akin to watching a bunch of retirees in some old nursing home reminiscing to their grandchildren about their past lives which no one really wants to hear about. I've seen a lot of ordinary movies in my time, but this has to be in the top 5 of the worst. I was more impressed with my level of patience in sitting though the entire thing than with anything that was appeasing about the movie itself.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
"Tabu" is a rather odd but beautiful little film that defies easy
classification. The first part is a drama about three women in an
apartment building in modern day Lisbon. Aurora started off life as a
woman of privilege who later marries a well-to-do landowner. The years
haven't been kind to her and she seems to be losing her grip on
reality. Her daughter employs a woman, Santa, to look after her but
otherwise has no contact. Santa hails from a former Portuguese colony
and is trying to adapt to western culture. A third woman, Pilar is a
concerned neighbor who demonstrates on behalf of social causes.
Together the three women represent different ways of coping with
Portugal's history. Aurora for whom the past was a kind of golden age;
Santa who has chosen to remain in Portugal and adjust to her new world
and Pilar who appears to embrace activist political causes perhaps as a
way of atoning the past.
The second part is a steamy melodrama that unfolds as a memory sequence involving a young and beautiful Aurora who's stuck in a dull marriage to a rich man in colonial Africa. Later she meets a man and begins a passionate relationship which could threaten both of their futures. There's also a crocodile who first appears in a prologue when it consumes a despondent man whose love has passed away. A crocodile appears again as a gift to Aurora from her husband. That crocodile would haunt Aurora in her later years as if it were an avenger seeking the souls of those who've been unwilling or unable to accept life's lack of concern for our emotional attachments. This idea of the past as perhaps best forgotten is heightened by the callous disregard the younger generation displays for the older.
"Tabu" is not for everyone. Those who gravitate toward plot-driven story lines will be frustrated but if you enjoy a thoughtful, introspective character drama this is a treat.
|Page 1 of 2:|| |
|Official site||Plot keywords||Main details|
|Your user reviews||Your vote history|