Tara Reata (2018)
With the manipulative Tara Reata a destructive force in many lives, relationships collapse as secrets unfold in a complex emotional drama about life, loss and reconciliation.
- An opening voiceover by James (Al Carretta), an aspiring politician, details the complex relationship scenario that unfolds. Smitten with the mysterious Tara Reata (Chloe Booyens), James is ready to leave his moody and disinterested trophy wife Lisa (Olivia Hespe) in favour of Tara. Introducing us to the other key players in the film, including Lisa's sisters Jan (Amira Whitaker) and Vicky (Elizabeth Cachia) the scene is set for our introduction to photographer Tom (Daniel Pooley), his assistant Jules (Melanie Barcelo) and model Becky (Jennifer Harvey-French).
As Tom works to his client brief he is pestered on the telephone by his former girlfriend, Tara. Having rejected her due to her obsessive personality, Tom has started a new relationship with Jules who realises in disgust the control Tara still possesses over Tom. Flashing back, we learn of James's snap decision to marry LIsa. Acknowledged as a liar by her own estranged father Marlon (Paul Bridger) James dismisses the advice given. In present day, the newly married couple discuss their unhappy union over a garden barbecue with Lisa making frequent references to James's similarity to her now deceased father. In the conversation James pushes Lisa on her former relationship with Tom, who ironically now works in his campaign office as a photographer. The scene concludes with Lisa revealing that she destroyed Tom's life.
Tom and Tara then attempt a reconciliation in which it becomes apparent that Tara was stalking Tom and Jules earlier in the day. Discussions then begin between the pair over the death of their baby and the fact that they hadn't even named her.
Introducing Lisa's elder sister Jan in a telephone conversation, James discusses dinner plans and expresses his concerns for the heavily depressed Lisa, who struggles to look after their baby daughter Charlotte. Meanwhile, following instructions given to him by Tara, Tom heads to a riverside park to record sections of a video diary in an attempt to explain what he can't open up to Tara in person.
James and Lisa then discuss their deteriorated relationship further in the car. Lisa now refuses to allow James to even see his daughter and tensions between the pair mount further. Tara then sends James her own video message, announcing her love for him.
In an awkward dinner hosted by Jan, Lisa brutally announces her decision to divorce James. Exasperated with Lisa, James quietly walks away knowing that Tara is waiting for him. Unbeknown to James, Tom and Tara have partially reconciled their differences. Cutting back to the dinner with Jan and Lisa, the sibling rivalry between the pair becomes apparent. The fight for their father's attention is revealed and Jan, once the original object of James's affection, undermines Lisa's confidence with a series of personal insults and revelations that leave Lisa isolated and broken.
James then pressures Tom for information on his wife. Tom reveals that the office junior Luke has been Lisa's boyfriend for a number of months. Barely surprised, James ironically discusses drinks with Tom outside of the office and is bluntly rejected. Tom continues his reconciliation with Tara but it's true purpose finally comes to a head. Tara confesses that their baby isn't actually dead. She has simply been given up for adoption.
Lisa consults with her eldest sister Vicky for advice on what she should do about the James situation. Already served with divorce papers and a custody battle she will likely lose gathering momentum, Lisa is lost. Admitting that her boyfriend Luke can offer her nothing in terms of financial or emotional support she comes to terms with the fact that she might have repressed feelings for her husband in confusion and seeks to get back with James.
Still unknown to James, Tom and Tara enter the final stage of their reconciliation. Tara wants control of Tom and we learn the perceived sleight against her comes from the simple fact that he won't take her as an assistant on his photography assignments. After threatening to assault him with the pointed heel of her shoe, Tom concedes and agrees that she can come on the next photoshoot in place of Jules.
Cutting back to Lisa and Vicky's discussion, Vicky reprimands Lisa for her actions. Responding with petulance to the truths being told to her Lisa's tears fade into a montage of Tara's infidelity with James. Under the supervision of Vicky, Lisa and James meet over another garden barbecue in an attempt to reconcile. James, entirely unsure of his feelings for his wife questions her and explains his need for a partner who will cement his political image as a family man. Lisa insists she can be that image. Unexpectedly, Lisa's phone rings as James's colleagues are looking for him. Missing the day's work events to rectify his problems with Lisa he learns the campaign bus - which he should have been on - has crashed. James slowly reveals to Lisa that Tom and Luke have been killed in the carnage. Shocked at the deaths, Lisa pieces together events in her mind to ask James who Tara is. Devastated, he reveals Tara is the girl his attention has been on for the past six months and she too is dead in the crash. An acapella version of Amazing Grace then plays as rain pours over the garden.