With Tabú, Manuel Gomes gives us a multilayered artifact: a movie that works as a homage of the great lie that is cinema, as a satire of melodrama that vindicates its power and also as an interesting rumination about colonialism.
Gomes achieves this by choosing to give his story two very distinctive tones and two complementing aesthetics approaches.
One half of the movie is a blend of New Wave tropes and the second part an almost silent film that employs a constant narration that is tying both acts together. In paper it reads convoluted, but Gomes manages to film this in a very subtle way and with a capable cast that make the transition almost invisible.
The film ultimately becomes an study about sacrifice, about what we achieve or stop achieving because of love and because of desire and the melancholy of knowing how much was lost and how much was hurt.
Boring. Too long. Monotonous. Enough said.