SPOILER ALERT: This story contains major spoilers for “Tár.”
Todd Field’s “Tár” ends with disgraced conductor Lydia Tár (Cate Blanchett) conducting the score of “Monster Hunter,” a fantasy video game series, for a group of cosplayers in Southeast Asia. It’s a huge fall from grace from her previous post as head of the Berlin Philharmonic.
Countless theories exist on the internet about the character’s ending. Is she hallucinating? Is Tár herself a monster who has been hunted, as her downfall comes as a result of allegations of misconduct and abuse of power. Or is it something else?
Oscar-nominated and ACE Eddies nominated editor Monika Willi reveals a line that never made it into the film: “Tár never stopped, Tár never quits.” According to Willi, “This says to audiences she’s holding up, she’s standing upright and she doesn’t quit.”
Cutting the film together, Willi and Field sequestered themselves in a 15th Century nunnery without any distractions at the height of the pandemic.
Aside from her theory on the film’s ending, Willi also breaks down another key scene in the film that speaks to Blanchett’s character.
“Despite all her talents, she’s reclusive from the world and she’s thrown back to [her] insomnia. She’s in her apartment. She plays sounds, but she’s also hearing things,” Willi says. Those sounds, Willi says, are a result of her suffering from misophonia, a thread throughout the film. She is troubled by the metronome ticking, a knock at the door, a scream in the woods. All these sounds are mysterious.
Willi says, “Lydia plays the sounds she’s hearing and she’s trying to get rid of them. We put together those scenes where she’s very alone, and then we cut to Mahler V. Movement I. Trauermarsch. Bar 20, which hits the audience and we see her full professional attitude.”
Willi says while Field’s script was precise, and she followed it for the most part, “we put in some scenes to really concentrate on her weak spots and these moments where she’s suffering, especially when she can’t sleep.”