American in Spain

Wild Tales – Relatos Salvajes

May 22, 2015

Relatos Salvajes TitleAlmost fortnight ago, my friend, @bnanno and her husband, recommended a movie to me. I know very little of Argentine cinema, but it was sold to me as "a series of situations in which every step the character takes makes some sense at the time, but that spirals into catastrophe". Personally, I adore fiction, books or movies, in which the protagonist slowly goes mad. I first realized this whilst reading, as a school assignment, Doris Lessing's To Room Nineteen, the plot of which I have since forgotten. But movies like The Others, Moon, and 1408 are similarly interesting, and the only kind of "horror" movie I can stand. It was interesting to me that, upon hearing our discussion of Wild Tales as a story of people in tough situations making seemingly rational decisions and ending up as monsters, my father, who had not heard the start of the conversation, mentioned Breaking Bad, which is exactly the topic that sparked the recommendation in the first place. We had been talking about Breaking Bad, and @bnanno and her husband had said, "You know, you really should check out Wild Tales."

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I enjoyed this movie very much. It was divided into six separate short stories. The first of which takes place on a plane.

I could tell from the opening credit sequence that followed that this would be a very well made movie. Normally I fast forward through the opening sequence, but this one held me spellbound. The cinematography, directing, and acting were absolutely superb.

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The second story takes place in a little diner.

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The third story involves road rage.

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The fourth story features a man frustrated that his car keeps getting towed. This might have been my favorite.

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The fifth story is about how a rich family handles a situation where the young son hits a pedestrian. This reminded me of why I loved Reasonable Doubt so much, because hitting a pedestrian is something that could happen to any of us.

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The sixth, and final story, tells of a wedding going all to hell. The first five stories involved prideful men letting their egos ruin them, and I was glad to see the final vignette feature a woman snapping, too.

I highly recommend this film. It is in Spanish, and by "Spanish", I mean Argentinian Spanish. I watched it with English subtitles on, which helped a lot in the times when they used some slang that is not in my Castilian vocabulary. And all the voseo. Vos sos argentino, ¿no?

Great flick. Check it out. Well done, Damián Szifron.