The audience is left to imagine much of the story, though it is clear it involves love, betrayal, guilt, regret and a recurring crocodile.
| Original Score: 2/5
Its artfulness seems like an alibi, an excuse for keeping the ugliness of history out of the picture.
| Original Score: 2.5/5
A dreadfully slow screenplay in the second half undercuts the interesting handling of black and white exposition.
| Original Score: 5/10
There are times when you feel the whole thing is better listened to than watched.
Churlish though it sounds, you'll want to arrive for this b&w Portuguese drama about 45 minutes late.
| Original Score: 3/5
Naively simplistic in its narrative, opaque in its politics, the movie's appeal is hard to understand.
It's one of those rarities when too many compliments are not enough and the recommendation to see it as soon as it's near you cannot be stressed enough.
| Original Score: A
Tabu begs us not to forget the once beautiful, dramatic, and adventurous wilds of youth that are extinguished in the depressingly inevitable isolation of old age.
Portuguese director Miguel Gomes' latest film moves through different styles and eras, and proves that shooting in black and white is as versatile as it ever was.
| Original Score: 3.5/4
The pangs of romance, eroticism, anguish, and longing (both for the stolen moments of private passion and for the sense-making schematics of Empire) transcend any period of cinema Tabu may evoke.
| Original Score: 4/4
For all its cleverly shot post- modernity, Tabu inadvertently argues for the power of old-school storytelling.
| Original Score: 4/5
If in the first half Gomes dares the audience to be bored, the second half is a cinephile's payoff.
Does the plot make sense? Probably, but that doesn't really matter. Tabu is about memories and fantasies and folklores, and since when have any of them been consistent with truth or logic.
This blend of tongue-in-cheek exoticism and desire so strong it makes crocodiles melancholic amply rewards your patience.
Shot in black and white, it's occasionally perverse (a dialogue-free section feels like a gauntlet thrown down to cinephiles) but also lushly romantic.
Few films are this smart about subtly couching their allegorical aspirations within more straightforward narratives; fewer still are able to do so with such energetically inventive virtuoso style.
| Original Score: 9.5/10
Elegantly weaving together colonial history, past cinema and personal memories, it unashamedly touches the heart, the most complicated muscle of the human anatomy.
While the path through this unconventional film is not always obvious, it is a sensuous, mysterious and intoxicating path worth taking.
Tabu is a rare work that manages to draw on the past while creating something that feels very modern indeed.