Review of Tango
According to the dictonary, a tango is “a ballroom dance or dance-tune in 4-4 time, of Argentinian origin, characterized by long steps and pauses”, and this sums up the structure of this film. It is fairly slow-moving with the occasional burst of action (although not "action" action).
A homage to the dance of the same name, Tango, follows the story of Mario, a director whose wife has abandoned him. He retreats into his latest work, a movie about tango. And on one level, that’s it.
On another level, the director (Carlos Saura) is trying to show how the tango itself can reflect, and influence, a person’s life.
The visuals are superb. Not in a multi-million dollar CGI way, of course, because this is a fairly low budget film. However, the filmmakers have made best use of costume, lighting, setting and angle to create a truly sumptuous look. The lighting is especially worth mentioning; it is truly inventive.
The video itself is better than adequate. Sometimes the image is a little soft and, on very dark scenes sparkles are visible. Not bad, though.
Although this is a straight DD 2.0 transfer, it is hard to complain when the soundtrack is essentially dialog plus score. And the score is gorgeous and well presented. Lalo Schifrin’s moody and sinuous music beguiles and entrances you and complements the dance on screen perfectly.
Essentially, this disc has no extra features. You get static (and boring) menus and a cursory filmography that simply lists films and gives no further information about the players.
Tango is a shameless “arty” film. The plot is fairly shallow but mildly enjoyable.
However, you wouldn’t really watch it for the plot. You watch it for the dance, and taken on the level of an arty dance showcase, it is superb. All the dancers are fabulous, the tango is a mesmerising dance and the music ties the dance and the visuals together perfectly.
Without the dance, the film would make a dull 10 minutes. With it, it is a captivating 110 minutes. It won’t be to everyone’s taste so cautiously recommended.