Starlet upstarts, Robert Sean Leonard (the suicidal one in Dead Poets Society) Ethan Hawke (the nerdy one from DPS) Uma Thurman (the cute one in which ever film sheís in) and a digital camera or two got together to make an adaptation of the stage play, Tape. Made on what looks like a budget of a couple of cups of tea, this film tells it as straight as the play - In one hotel room with just a cast of three.Cinematically, this film isnít much to speak of except for the mega-multi-angles that are used towards the beginning of the film. The cheap equipment used here allowed numerous takes on many different angles. Yet when the film settles down a bit the editing slows down and all weíre left with is watching a stage. Yet movies can do far more than what the stage can do, and sadly the filmmakers donít make use of this.
If you are the sort of person who is a fan of live theatre, then you should be able to get something out of this film. Itís a wordy three-hand story that is acted well enough by the three leads.
None of the filmís characters are particularly likeable. As the film progresses the audience feels rather manipulated as there are attempts to shift allegiances between the characters. A seen-it-all-before technique which wasnít liked the first time it was used and itís not liked now.
At the centre of this film is the question or rape and whether or not it happened. The act of manipulation used in the film really draws out that question, and it is dragged out for far too long. Perhaps thereís not enough in this story to fill in its 86 minutes. The characters gradually become annoying and unbelievable as subject matter is extended further than it deserves.So in the end we have a story with not enough meat on the bones, some unlikeable characters and not much cinematic vision. This filmmaking on the cheap can be done wonderfully as in the case of some of the Dogma films, but Tape is not one of them.