Our Last TangoCultureCinemaMovie reviews
Our Last Tango tells the fiery, captivating tale of the Argentinian couple who brought the tango to a mass audience and won the world’s hearts from the 60s onwards. In a moving scene at the very end, the 80-year-old Maria Nieves Rega and her dance partner Juan Carlos Copes take in the cheers of a standing ovation in a packed Luna Park stadium, celebrating their uncontested legacy to the world of music and performance.
The story itself revolves elegantly around the rise and fall of the pair’s personal and professional relationship. Opening on a dizzying view of Buenos Aires, the viewer meets Rega, the tough yet deeply emotional woman who takes us through a tale worthy of an Italian opera. Love, passion, infidelity, pain and music – this docudrama has it all.
The wizened but glamorous lady walks us through the historical locations of her childhood from the club where she met her lifelong partner before he even knew any steps, to a restored version of the little room where she grew up practising the tango with a broomstick.
The narrative is intricately composed of different elements that provide an inside look at the film itself – with modern-day dancers, actors and choreographers interviewing Rega, comparing old photos of the couple, and recreating dramatic scenes from her youth through elaborately set up montages.
Rega herself trains the dancers and describes the feelings they are to replicate so that the theatrical reenactments are as vivid as the legendary dancer remembers them herself.
Copes’s (played by himself and Juan Malizia) side of the story veers from the touching to the unpleasant but shows a strong, driven character who led not only their unbelievable moves but the whole project of bringing it all to the spotlight.
“No tear shed by a woman over a man is ever worth it,” says Rega bitingly to one of her incarnations (Alejandra Gutty) in a moodily lit car backseat as they chat about Copes’s repeated infidelities. Such a story of love and hate could not be more perfectly portrayed than by the frantic, elegant steps of the tango.
An altogether beautifully choreographed documentary, Our Last Tango takes a tastefully detailed look at a couple of fascinating people who, through thick and thin – and ultimately through gritted teeth – brought their love of dance to the world at large, making the traditional Argentinian style nearly as popular as American jazz.
Our Last Tango is released nationwide on 22nd September 2017.
Watch the trailer for Our Last Tango here: