Tape DVD Review - www.impulsegamer.com -

Feature 6.5
Video 9.0
Audio 7.0
Special Features 3.0
Total 6.5
Distributor: Fox
Running Time:

Classification:
 M15+
Reviewer:
Brett Bowman

6.5


Tape

Tape centres around three friends who are forced to confront an incident in their shared past.  Fire-fighter and drug enthusiast Vincent (Ethan Hawke) has arranged a meeting with high school friend John (Robert Sean Leonard).  John is now an almost successful director, awaiting the premiere of his first film; he does not expect the ulterior motive Vincent has for them meeting.  Vincent is trying to get to the truth of wether or not John raped their mutual friend Amy (Uma Thurman) ten years ago in high school; John is unaware that Vincent is taping their conversation, and that he has arranged for Amy to also meet the two of them.  What follows is an unravelling of their friendships as they are forced to take a hard look at their actions – both past and present. 

Tape is an independent production with a high calibre cast focusing primarily on the script and performances of the actors.  The entire film takes place in one very average motel room, in real time.  There is no music throughout the film, which only serves to focus attention on the conversation between the three characters.  Tape was filmed on high definition video giving a more immediate and intimate feel to the proceedings, we are eavesdropping on a real conversations rather than something scripted.  Stephen Belber’s screenplay (based on his original play) is very involving, helped by the fine performances of the three fine actors involved and the no frills direction of Richard Linklater. 

Hawke portrays Vincent with a manic edge, at times it does slightly over the top.  Vincent seems only to want to get the true story out for his own selfish reasons.  He and Amy had a relationship in high school, one he is still obsessing over 10 years later.    As the instigator for much of the films events Vincent is not a character you find yourself cheering for, indeed all three characters have their flaws.  John, the “villain” of the piece according to Vincent is far more likable than Vincent, despite having apparently raped Amy; Leonard gives a subtle performance that shows the ambiguous nature of the situation and script.  Likewise Thurman’s Amy is not the victim she is painted as in the first half of the film – how can someone be a victim of a crime if they don’t believe a crime occurred?  Three different people with Three different perceptions of the same incident, ambiguities that make Tape complex and intriguing viewing. 

Tape is a very basic DVD package.  Included along with the film is the trailer, actor/writer/director biographies and information on film company InDigEnt.  Also included are trailers for other upcoming films.  Ironically the stripped down nature of the DVD package mirrors the minimalist trappings of the film itself. 






 
 



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