Going into this movie, I wasn’t too sure what to expect! I can’t say I’m the biggest fan of Dance, nor am I familiar with the famous names associated with the Tango. But this does give me a chance to watch ‘Our Last Tango’ with a neutral position, with no bias. Any documentary can attract the attention of the fans it’s aimed towards, but a great documentary can intrigue even the most casual of fans!
‘Our Last Tango’ is the journey of Maria Nieves & Juan Carlos Copes, the dance partners who took the Tango, which at the time, was relatively unknown, all the way to the international stage. The couple were praised for their intensity & ingenuity, which has made the Tango what it is now. But they were only a couple on the stage, this compelling documentary takes a look at what eventually became a tumultuous relationship. With the two dancers taking very different trajectories in life.
The film is split into two distinguishable parts. You have the standard documentary format, using interviews from Maria & Juan, among others, and the use of stock footage from the archives. Then there are the dance segments, in which various actors are used to dramatize certain parts from days gone past. These are vibrant displays of Tango which really display how much the couple loved what they do, and how their journey from their roots, all the way to shining lights of Broadway developed. It is very similar in format to ‘Sachin: A Billion Dreams’, which also released earlier this year.
Director German Kral does a stellar job in weaving the flamboyant fiction with the more sombre factual interviews. Their relationship is at such a point, the two partners, rarely see each other, but at the same time, it is important to see what they did in their glory days, and the joy they bought to their millions of fans around the world.
Even though I didn’t have much of a connection with either of our couple beforehand, ‘Our Last Tango’ does a grand feat in making the audience feel empathy. The story of Maria is especially poignant, as she was truly devoted to Juan, but in the end, it just did not work out for her. Juan was dedicated to his goal of making the Tango world renowned, after all, it was his unique idea to dance on a table up on stage, but he never truly envisioned a life together with Maria as life went on. The scene where she receives an emotional standing ovation, by the fans she though did not care for her is very stirring, and almost makes you want to join in with the applause too!
Overall, the film will intrigue anyone who has an interest to the Tango, and if your into your cultural arts, you will certainly appreciate this, but it did terrifically to make me feel as much as I did! The dancing scenes are spectacular, with the ‘Dancing in the Rain’ sequence being the highlight on the film by far, but it’s the sentimental story behind all the glitz and glamour that really gives ‘Our Last Tango’ that emotional grip on our attentions.
3 word review – vibrant and emotional