Published on March 13th, 2015 | by Neil Jordan0
Greetings & Salutations Fellow Movie Fanatics!
I must admit, my last screening of a foreign language film left me quite hesitant to review another considering the depressing nature of the previous film’s story and ending. I’m hear to tell you though that today’s review of a foreign language film is exactly the opposite.
Today’s selection, is an Argentine-Spanish dark comedy-drama. ‘Wild Tales’ is collection of 6 separate stories brought together as an anthology with the only connection between the 6 stories being the themes of vengeance and violence (sometimes quite graphic). Written and directed by Damián Szifron, ‘Wild Tales’ includes an ensemble cast with some of the most popular and well known names argentine film and television including Ricardo Darín, Oscar Martínez, Leonardo Sbaraglia, Érica Rivas, Rita Cortese, Julieta Zylberberg, Darío Grandinetti,
María Onetto, Nancy Dupláa, Osmar Núñez, César Bordón, Diego Gentile, María Marull, Germán de Silva, Diego Velázquez, Walter Donado, and Mónica Villa. Now I can’t tell you too much without giving the film away but the only way to describe this film (and I mean this as a compliment to the cast and crew of the film) but imagine Rod Serling creator of the original ‘The Twilight Zone’ television show and Chuck Palahniuk acclaimed author of ‘Fight Club’, somehow teamed up to write a collection of short stories and then make an awesome film out of it. Here’s a quick rundown of the stories:
The first story which also serves as the intro (prologue) to the film is “Pasternak”. A runway model and a music critic are amongst the passengers on a commercial flight who discover that they both had a past mutual acquaintance. Their curiosity turns to shock as they soon learn every passenger on the plane once knew this same individual.
The second story, “Las Ratas” takes place at a roadside diner during an unusually intense rainstorm. The diner’s waitress recognizes one of the customers as a loan shark and local politician who ruined her family. Even though the waitress wants to confront the loan shark, she decides against revenge …. the diner’s cook however has other ideas.
The third story, “El más fuerte” takes place on a long stretch of highway. A businessman Mario in his fast new car and Diego a laborer in his rundown older car engage in a deadly duel after exchanging insults and cutting one another off proving that road rage can only have one deadly result. Only in this case, the ending is more ridiculous than the reasons the duel between the two drivers started.
The fourth story, “Bombita” follows Simón Fisher. A demolitions expert who’se life is turned completely upside down after his car is illegally towed as he tries to race home in time with a cake for his daughter’s birthday. With his life in ruins and the law and society working against him, Simón decides to takes matters into his own hands.
The fifth story, “La Propuesta” involves a young teenager who goes on a drunken joyride one night and ends up hitting and killing a pedestrian and her unborn child. Even as his rich parents race to ‘make a deal’ that will ensure their son never sees a day in jail this story shows that sometimes even when you want to change your mind and confess to something you did wrong, you can’t ‘stop the ball’ once it gets rolling.
The sixth and final story “Hasta que la muerte nos separe” shows that no matter what, sometimes two people are just meant to be together. In the midst of celebrating their marriage with their close friends and family, the wife discovers that her new husband has cheated on her. Not only that, but that the woman he cheated with is a guest at the party. After fleeing to the hotel roof, a hotel chef attempts to cheer her up and lift her spirits. Soon the husband storms onto the roof and discovers his new wife cheating on HIM with the chef. What follows is the very definition of a wedding gone wrong only with results contradict that very concept.
This film is by far, one of the funniest and well-made films I have had the good fortune to see in my 36 years. I can’t remember enjoying a foreign film as much as ‘Wild Tales’ recently. Everything just ‘clicked’ in this film. It’s funny, dark, dramatic, ironic, even ridiculous at times. Even when you correctly guess how one of the stories might turn out, seeing it play out in the screen … this movie is worth seeing. It was the most popular film in Argentina last year and obviously for good reason. The film supposedly received a ten-minute standing ovation at the Cannes Film Festival last year as well. To all the folks out there who are completely annoyed by subtitles, just deal with them. In this case, it’ll be worth putting up with. I’m going to give this one 4 out of 5 stars. It’s more than worth spending your money to see in the theaters or online.
This is your friendly neighborhood freelance photographer ‘The CameraMan’ and on behalf of my fellows at ‘Skewed & Reviewed’ i’d like to say, thanks for reading and we’ll see you at the movies.