A nameless young character goes into travels to the country, meeting some acquaintances and strangers as well, having banal conversations, dedicating his existence into daily mundane ... See full summary »
Twenty-eight year olds Jon and Vince, friends from high school, meet in Vince's seedy motel room in Lansing, Michigan. Jon had invited Vince to town from his current residence of Oakland to help celebrate the fact of his latest movie, independently shot, having a screening at the local film festival the following day, the first public screening of one of his movies. While Jon seems to have grown up in having this career path and a nice room in an upscale hotel provided by the festival, Vince, who, in preparing for the evening has already had a few beer by the time Jon arrives, hasn't, he who deals drugs for a living with no change on the horizon, and his girlfriend, who was supposed to accompany him to Lansing, having broken up with him, indirectly because of his immaturity. This divergence quickly becomes an issue of contention between the two. But as Vince's behavior is seemingly more and more substance affected, he having broken out the weed and coke, his intention with Jon may be ...Written by
Performed by Brenda Lee
Written by Ronnie Self and Dub Allbritten
Published by Universal Champion Music
Courtesy of MCA Records
Under license from Universal Music Enterprises
[Played during end credits] See more »
When it starts, Tape seems like a very unprofessional, student film and I was expecting not to like it - but by the time it's reached it's conclusion, Richard Linklater's talky little drama has hit all the right notes and, despite the fact that this is simply three actors spending 85 minutes in one location; Linklater has done what he did with Before Sunrise, and proved that great dialogue is enough to make a film great. Of course, he didn't write this film, and that honour goes to Stephen Belber, whose play this film is based on. The dialogue itself is brilliant, and it's constantly fascinating to see how the characters are built up through what they say. Although we don't know anything about these characters before the film starts, by the end we know about them just through their dialogue, which shows the thought that has been put into everything the characters say. The plot is deliciously simple, which gives all of the characters room to expand and interact with each other. Basically, what we have here is two high school friends that meet up in a motel room for the first time in ten years. While there, they discuss the darker areas of their time together at school
Of course, for this film to work, good actors are a definite must have; and this film definitely has them! Ethan Hawke massively impressed in Linklater's Before Sunrise, and he does so again here, albeit in a totally different way. The character he has been given here is much harder to like than his one in Linklater's masterpiece, but Hawke shows his worth as an actor by brilliantly stepping into the role, and giving his character a definite grounding in realism. His co-stars, Robert Sean Leonard and Uma Thurman give similar portrayals, and the ensemble helps to make the film what it is. What makes films like Tape great is their ambiguity. Many of the things that the characters say can be interpreted in different ways, and most people will have different ideas as to why certain characters say certain things. The story behind the immediate goings on is well orchestrated, and even though nothing that the characters are talking about is shown; it's still easy to picture it. What happens in the hotel room is also very well executed, and the playwright has made sure that his story is never boring. Linklater's use of the camera is good, with the swirling angles creating a claustrophobic feel within the small confines of the hotel room. Tape is the sort of film that can be analysed in all different ways, and that gives it infinite rewatch value and when the material is this good; rewatching can only be a pleasure.
21 of 27 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?
| Report this