MoviesIndiePositive (Worth Seeing)

Tahara (2020) – Review/ Summary (with Spoilers)

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In what may feel like a prequel to “Shiva Baby,” Rachel Sennott is joined by Madeline Grey DeFreece for another awkward funeral situation.


Director(s)Olivia Peace
Screenplay ByJess Zeidman
Date Released (Film Festival: NewFest –  The New York LGBTQ Film Festival 2020)10/16/2020
Genre(s)Drama, Romance, Young Adult, LGBT, Animation
Duration78 Minutes
RatingNot Rated
Noted Cast
CarrieMadeline Grey DeFreece
HannahRachel Sennott
TristanDaniel Taveras
ElainaShlomit Azoulay

This content contains pertinent spoilers.

Plot Summary

After the suicide of their mutual friend, borderline acquaintance, Hannah and Carrie go to her funeral, and considering how much of an obligation the whole event is for both, neither act appropriately. Especially as Hannah, who follows what is becoming a familiar character for Sennott, pursues a boy named Tristan and uses Carrie in the process.

Character Guide

Carrie (Madeline Grey DeFreece)

Hannah’s childhood friend who is dealing with an acquaintance dying, her feelings for Hannah, and something revealed during the funeral.

Hannah (Rachel Sennott)

Carrie’s best friend who is love-struck by Tristan and is a bit insecure, yet still willing to take some initiative, and can be considered a bit self-centered.

Tristan (Daniel Taveras)

The hot guy that seemingly every girl wants, who many believe was dating the girl who killed herself.

Elaina (Shlomit Azoulay)

Elaina (Shlomit Azoulay) after smoking her vape pen.
Elaina (Shlomit Azoulay)

Hannah’s rival that is more well-versed in Jewish customs, is more popular and presents a real threat to who may win over Tristan.

Review

Highlights

Carrie

Carrie (Madeline Grey DeFreece) talking to Hannah
Carrie (Madeline Grey DeFreece)

Unfortunately, certain people have to be sought out if you want to hear and see their stories. Queer Black women are under that umbrella, and add in Carrie might be Jewish as well? You are talking about something very specific. Yet, it feels so necessary and what you have to love about Carrie is, while she is clearly Black, from her skin tone to hair, it doesn’t define her. If anything, as much as it creates this otherness about her, it also allows you to connect with her if you don’t understand the process.

Plus, as you watch her deal with Hannah wanting to kiss her and then Carrie connecting with Hannah’s nemesis Elaina, it pushes you to feel closer to Carrie and her journey. Leading you to eventually go beyond connecting with Carrie and feeling connected to DeFreece to the point of checking her IMDB to see what else she is in and what’s coming out next for her.

On The Fence

Two Films Featuring What Seems Like The Same Character For Sennott

One of the fears we always have with comedians is that they have a schtick and don’t know how to be anything beyond this one character, with the only alteration being their background. With Sennott, the pseudo-selfish bi-sexual Jewish girl seems to be her thing and while in “Shiva Baby,” we loved it, watching that film then “Tahara” pushes you to wonder if the reason Sennott shined was because her persona feels rare or because she just has that special something?

Hannah (Rachel Sennott) about to kiss Carrie
Hannah (Rachel Sennott)

As seen with many comics, when they are hot, they end up being everywhere and getting a taste of that with Sennott leads us to wonder if the luster will fade quickly when she blows up?

Overall

Rating: Positive (Worth Seeing)

While not necessarily over the moon with “Tahara,” we will admit it was rather enjoyable. In fact, even with it testing our appreciation for Sennott, there is no denying that DeFreece playing off of her helped DeFreece’s performance and made it so you had a desire to connect to her character, Carrie. Mind you, once DeFreece had your attention, she ran with it, but you can’t deny Sennott’s role in that.

So while dancing on the line between mixed and positive, this edges towards positive mainly due to DeFreece’s performance and things wrapping up with the film before it became tedious to watch.

Where To Watch

Carrie - 84%
Two Films Featuring What Seems Like The Same Character For Sennott - 77%

81%

while dancing on the line between mixed and positive, this edges towards positive mainly due to DeFreece's performance and things wrapping up with the film before it became tedious to watch.

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Amari Allah

I started Wherever I Look back in 2011 and from movies, TV, the occasional book, play, and Broadway show, have been trying to bridge the gap between a critic and an avid lover of various forms of media.

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