Tape: One Room Profundity
Tape (2001) revolves around the story of three people and their repressed reservations towards each other. Placed on a single bedroom apartment, Tape shows you the eternal effect of high school shenanigans- in the most eloquent manner possible.
The story starts off with the life of Vincent, a wasted firefighter who makes a living out of selling drugs and is thoroughly surviving life with the help of them. Johnny, a director whose film is set to be shown on a famous film festival, enters Vincent's apartment to talk about his first movie, only to realize that he is up for a nostalgic conversation about their high school life.
Along their conversation, it is established that Vincent has been doing bad in mostly everything about his life, and Johnny has been pushing him to realize it; however, not offering any concrete solutions. Johnny is pretty much doing nothing except to prod Vincent that he should follow Johnny's path as it is the kind of ideal living for everyone.
When Amy enters the story, that is when Johnny gets a mental turmoil, if not a mind torture scheme purposely brought out by Vincent. Apparently, there is something about Amy that Johnny has been trying to forget or deny for a decade already. Vincent, on the other hand, unravels his emotions as it is revealed that in spite of his arrogant nature, he is once hurt by Johnny; and that is through Amy. In this setting, the audience is given the idea that perhaps, Johnny is the real bad guy in the story, and that Vincent is just concealing all the troubles he have inside through making the least out of his life.
When Amy herself comes to Vincent's apartment because of his invitation; that is when the story gets even more perplexing. Along their conversation, and mostly through Vincent's prodding, it is revealed that the presumed mistake done by Johnny to Amy is not true at all, or that Johnny has completely misunderstood what happened between them. Either way it is obvious that Amy feels bad about raising the issue again, which can make everyone feel that she is but a victim of the two guys proving who has really gone bad.
There isn't any specific pivotal part in the story. Until the end, the issue about Vincent, Johnny and Amy's past is not resolved. The audience is left with a strong curiosity of what may happen to the three of them after the entire confrontation. Will Vincent eventually change for the good? Will Johnny become someone like Vincent? Will Amy be able to move on (or has she really moved on)? Will Vincent and Johnny lose their friendship? One thing that is settled though is the idea that Amy is no longer stupid as how she has probably been in high school. At the end of the story, she practically makes Vincent flush his life away.
The claustrophobic ambiance of Tape because of its one room setting brings out the best in its storyline. Basically, the audience is left without anything to do except to listen to what the characters have got to say and eventually find themselves being all drenched with their problems. It gives everyone a chance to connect with the story and to question themselves if they have done (or are doing) something like what Johnny has done that might haunt them. The caged atmosphere, nonetheless, also emphasizes on the brilliance of its three actors.
All in all, Tape has made it clear that a strong and utterly believable storyline can actually beat any magnificent backdrops. With a great amount of excessive linguistic pressure.
Posted by Rhea