Wild Tales

"Extraordinary"

Wild Tales Review


From Argentina, this Oscar-nominated collection of six short, sharp stories leaves us gasping for breath due to both riotous black comedy and deeply unnerving plot twists. Each segment is about people who are pushed beyond the tipping point, finding revenge in an unexpected way that feels both deeply horrifying and disturbingly satisfying. And even though it sometimes veers wildly close to being over-the-top, the film is written, directed and played with such brutal honesty that it can't help but rattle us to the core.

The prologue is titled "Pasternak", set on an airplane on which passengers are surprised to find out that they all have a connection to Gabriel Pasternak. But what does he have in store for them all? Next is "The Rats", set in a roadside diner where waitress Moza (Julieta Zylberberg) is unnerved to serve a loan shark (Cesar Bordon) who destroyed her family. The chef (Rita Cortese) thinks she should poison his food. "The Strongest" follows Diego (Leonardo Sbaraglia), a wealthy man driving his shiny car down a highway when he comes up to Mario (Walter Donado) hogging the road with his rattling clunker. Passing him with a volley of obscenities, Diego is then horrified when he has a flat tyre and knows who's coming down the road behind him.

The fourth clip is "Little Bomb", about demolition expert Simon (Ricardo Darin), who engages the city's bureaucrats in a quickly escalating war when his car is erroneously towed for parking illegally. "The Proposal" is the most cerebral segment, centring on a wealthy man (Oscar Martinez) trying to clear his teen son (Alan Daicz), who has just run down a pregnant woman in the street. The idea is to find a scapegoat. And in "Until Death Parts Us", a bride (Erica Rivas) discovers in the middle of their marriage reception that her new husband (Diego Gentile) has been cheating on her. Her reaction is neither calm nor measured.

Writer-director Damian Szifron gives each short its own tone, which means that viewing them as a collection pushes and pulls us in various directions. But watching each episode unfurl is exhilarating because it appeals directly to something primal in us. It helps that the performances are vivid and energetic, and the filmmaking is first-rate, timed to perfection. The most memorable segment is the finale, which plays out like the deranged climax of a particularly outrageous Almodovar film (indeed, Pedro and Augustin Almodovar produced this movie). Other highlights include the ironic twist on the macho excesses of "The Strongest" and the bleak social commentary of "The Proposal". But it's the way Szifron combines comedy, drama, emotion, sex and violence so effortlessly that marks him as a filmmaker to watch.


Wild Tales Trailer

 



Wild Tales

Facts and Figures

Genre: Foreign

Run time: 122 mins

In Theaters: Thursday 21st August 2014

Box Office USA: $90.0k

Distributed by: Sony Pictures Classics

Production compaines: El Deseo S.A., Kramer & Sigman Films, Televisión Federal (Telefe), INCAA

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 4.5 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 91%
Fresh: 51 Rotten: 5

IMDB: 8.2 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director: Damian Szifron

Producer: , , , Matias Mosteirin, Hugo Sigman

Starring: Ricardo Darín as Simon Fisher, as Diego, as Salgado, Erica Rivas as Romina, Erica Rivas as Moza, Nancy Dupláa as Victoria, María Onetto as Helena, María Onetto as Mauricio, Rita Cortese as Cocinera, Rita Cortese as Abogado

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