Tar: Art and Artifice Coming Apart. This film is an exceptional masterpiece. Engrossing from start to finish. Cate Blanchett is superb.
Tár” is a film that delves deeply into the themes of identity politics and psychological tension, and it can be viewed through a Freudian lens as well. The movie is a masterful exploration of the psychological complexities that arise when we confront our past, our present, and our future.
Throughout the film, we see how Lydia Tár is haunted by her past and struggles to come to terms with her own identity. As an artist and photographer, Lydia has built her career on creating images exploring identity and the self. However, when she receives a package that triggers memories from her childhood, she finds herself questioning her sense of self and her place in the world.
One of the key ways in which “Tár” explores identity politics is through its portrayal of Lydia’s relationships with her mother and father. Her mother was a famous artist who was emotionally distant and manipulative, while her father was absent for much of her life. These early childhood experiences can be viewed through a Freudian lens, as the foundation for Lydia’s adult psychological struggles. The impact of her mother’s emotional manipulation, and her father’s absence, may have created a sense of longing and an inability to form healthy relationships in adulthood.
The psychological tension in “Tár” is palpable throughout the film, and it can be seen as a manifestation of Lydia’s internal struggles. Her relationship with her partner, for example, can be viewed through a Freudian lens as a way of seeking attachment and validation, which may have been absent or distorted in her early childhood. Her partner can be seen as a replacement for the attachment that Lydia may have lacked in her early life, leading to an unhealthy reliance on the partner as a source of validation.
The anchor of the film, asde from the incredible cinematography, direction, lighting, and music, is Blanchett’s performance. She absolutely has you in her grasp from the first frame to the last. This is due to the delicate balance struck between the art on display, and the artifice of the performance itself. You can see it in every facial expression, body position, contortion, and gesture. She commands the screen in the beginning as she commands everyone in her sphere. But as her inadequacies, her hubris, her failings begin to unravel, the path of the film unravels with it, until we are left with nothing more than disconnected dark shadows of existence as the main character is exiled to a life of much smaller circumstance and worth. She cannot see her failings, but the audience can only watch her whither away to a shell of what she once was.
Overall, “Tár” is a deeply nuanced and thought-provoking film that explores the ways in which our past, present, and future are interconnected. The movie’s exploration of identity politics and psychological tension can be viewed through a Freudian lens as well, making it a must-see for anyone interested in the complexities of the human psyche.