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Tár Ending Explained: A Comprehensive Analysis

The ending of Tár is open to interpretation, with themes of downfall, hallucination, and redemption. Lydia Tár’s journey is intricate and stimulating.

Todd Field’s film Tár, starring Cate Blanchett, has captivated audiences with its intricate story and ambiguous ending. The film investigates the life of Lydia Tár, a renowned conductor, and explores themes of power, abuse, and redemption.

Lydia’s Downfall

Lydia Tár’s life unravels due to scandals. She loses her job as the conductor of the Berlin Philharmonic after allegations of misconduct. This is subtly shown when Lydia sees a poster of her replacement, Elliot Kaplan, and tears it down in frustration. Her personal life also falls apart as her wife, Sharon, leaves her and prevents her from seeing their daughter, Petra.

The climax of the film is intense. Lydia, dressed in a suit, tackles Elliot Kaplan on stage during a Berlin orchestra performance. This desperate act highlights her inability to accept her fall from grace and loss of control. The scene is both shocking and tragic, showing Lydia’s struggle to hold onto her former life.

The final scene is the most debated. Lydia conducts the score of Monster Hunter, a fantasy video game, for cosplayers in Southeast Asia. This stark contrast to her previous prestigious position underscores her dramatic fall. Some see this as punishment, while others view it as a potential path to redemption.

Interpretations of the Ending

One theory suggests the final act is a hallucination. The film’s shift in cinematography and editing becomes surreal and disjointed. The floaty camerawork and continuity errors hint that what we see may not be real. This interpretation posits that Lydia’s mind is unraveling under the weight of her guilt and the consequences of her actions.

Gothic Horror Elements

Another interpretation focuses on the film’s gothic horror elements. The presence of supernatural aspects, like the red-haired woman (Krista) appearing in Lydia’s bedroom, adds an eerie tone. This perspective suggests the film explores Lydia’s deepest fears and psychological torment, blurring the lines between reality and nightmare.

Redemption or Punishment?

The final scene’s setting in a low-rent concert hall conducting a video game score can be seen in two ways. Some critics argue that conducting a Monster Hunter concert is a humiliating end for a once-great conductor, symbolizing her complete fall from grace. Others view it as an opportunity for Lydia to reconnect with her love for music, free from the pressures and corruption of her previous life.

Thematic Implications

Tár explores power dynamics and the abuse of authority. Lydia’s downfall results from her misuse of power and the harm she inflicted on others. The film depicts the consequences of such actions, making a powerful statement about accountability and justice.

Cancel Culture

The film also engages with the concept of cancel culture. Lydia’s career is effectively “canceled” due to the allegations against her. This prompts discussions about the fairness and impact of such societal mechanisms. However, the film’s nuanced portrayal of Lydia suggests it is more interested in the intricateities of power and redemption than in making a straightforward commentary on cancel culture.

Art and Identity

At its core, Tár is a meditation on the relationship between art and identity. Lydia’s identity is deeply intertwined with her music. Her fall from grace forces her to confront who she is without her prestigious career. The final scene, whether viewed as punishment or redemption, underscores the idea that Lydia’s true passion lies in the music itself, rather than the accolades and power that came with it.


The ending of Tár is deliberately ambiguous, leaving much open to interpretation. Whether viewed as a hallucination, a gothic horror twist, or a commentary on cancel culture, the film’s conclusion is a fitting end to Lydia Tár’s intricate journey. Todd Field’s direction and Cate Blanchett’s powerful performance ensure that Tár remains a stimulating and deeply engaging film, prompting viewers to reflect on themes of power, abuse, and redemption long after the credits roll.


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