Review this movie
May 24, 20134Sometimes 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 dialogue, only voiceover. But underneath all those tricks is a surprising conventional film. Well, more precisely, two films.
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63A black-and-white fever dream, and, like all dreams, its meanings are elusive. It’s opaque, maddening, often pretentious, yet the pretensions may be on purpose, to push us away from the adulterous colonials at the story’s center and reveal the Africa they’re too obsessed with each other to see.
50At first Tabu is intriguing. But the enigma gets wearing as the director's attention is divided between the homage to the silent film era and the film's underlying exploration of the regret of old age.