- 1 hr 26 min
Tape is a 2001 independent movie directed by Richard Linklater and starring Ethan Hawke, Robert Sean Leonard, and Uma Thurman. The film is set in a motel room and primarily takes place in real-time over the course of one evening. Tape is an adaptation of Stephen Belber's 1999 play of the same name. The plot revolves around three former high school friends who reunite ten years after graduation. The friends in question are Vince (Hawke), an overconfident drug dealer, Jon (Leonard), a documentary filmmaker, and Amy (Thurman), Jon's former girlfriend who now works as an assistant district attorney. Vince invites Jon to his motel room, where he has been staying, to celebrate the premiere of Jon's latest documentary film, which deals with addiction. As the night progresses, tensions between the three friends begin to surface, and secrets they've been keeping from each other are revealed. Vince surprises Jon by accusing him of sexually assaulting Amy during their senior year, which Jon denies. Amy arrives and the conversation turns more heated as Jon denies having forced himself on Amy. Amy, who at first tries to brush the matter off, becomes more confrontational as the discussion goes on. The film raises questions about memory and truth, as differing accounts of the past and subjective interpretations of present events complicate the situation. As secrets are revealed, the characters try to come to terms with their own guilt and motives. Tape is a minimalist film that is driven primarily by the acting and the dialogue between the characters. The film was shot on digital video, which adds to the immediate and stark atmosphere of the story. The camera work is understated, with long takes and close-ups of the characters' faces to emphasize their emotional states. Ethan Hawke's performance as Vince is particularly strong, as he imbues the character with a sense of bravado that masks his insecurities and vulnerability. Robert Sean Leonard's Jon, on the other hand, is more subdued, but his careful control masks a deep well of pain and anger. Uma Thurman's Amy is initially aloof but becomes more assertive and emotional as the conversation takes a more confrontational turn. Overall, Tape is a taut and gripping drama that explores themes of memory, guilt, and the nature of truth. The limited setting and focus on dialogue and performance create a claustrophobic atmosphere that heightens the tension and adds to the sense of unease as the plot unfolds. Despite its low budget and minimalist approach, Tape proves to be a powerful and thought-provoking exploration of the complexities of human relationships.