The Good: Many of the tango dance sequences are very well done. No doubt that Pablo Veron is an amazing dancer. Fabian Salas and Gustavo Naveira, both great tango dancers in their own right, are also very entertaining to watch. It's definitely a sight to see the three of them collaborate in several scenes.
The Bad: Unfortuntely, The Tango Lesson falls a bit short on many other fronts. The acting is pretty wooden, and much of the dialogue is stilted to the point where the story started feeling like a student film.
Elements of the story itself strain the whole suspension of disbelief. It just doesn't seem likely that a world famous tango dancer such as Pablo Veron would suddenly fall in love with Sally.
For one thing, the on-screen chemistry isn't there. Also, Pablo's onscreen character (the flakey and annoyingly self-absorbed artist) doesn't seem like the kind of man that Sally would particularly find attractive, regardless of how good a dancer he is.
Of course, much of the story is romantic fantasy. But these problems are so glaring that they adversely affect even the plausibility within the fantasy realm.
Who would like this film: The Tango Lesson is a labor of love, and I can tell Sally Potter worked extremely hard to make a meaningful film. And to her credit, her own tango dancing isn't so bad. If you're a fan of Argentine Tango, then the dance sequences will definitely be of interest to you.
As a drama, the central themes of love, relationships, and life are relatable, but not all that remarkable in their presentation. And on many occasions, the film moves too slowly. The dance sequences are well filmed, but unfortunately Pablo Veron's charisma as a dancer doesn't translate well with respect to his acting.
(2 out of 4 stars)
Review written by: Joe Yang