Wild Tales

Art & Culture

Portmanteau films (i.e. ones with a number of loosely-linked stories) rarely work, either because they are made by different directors, or because they lack a unifying theme. Wild Tales overcomes those obstacles by director Damian Szifron being the only director involved, and writer Damian Szifron ensuring that each segment is embedded in the concept of revenge, heavily laced with black humour.

It all starts on board an airplane, where a series of coincidences unfold, all revolving around one person (not on board) who has reason to hate everyone who is on board. Let's just say that things go downhill from there on.

Next we head for an out of the way restaurant, where a woman who works as a waitress recognizes a man who destroyed her family. THere is a memorable incident of road rage, culminating in acts of absurd savagery. A man decides that he has had enough of the arbitrary dictatorship of the parking enforcement office in Buenos Aires. A family try to outmanouevre the justice system, when the son of a rich man kills someone with the family car. And finally, there is the wedding from hell.

To tell you more about any of these episodes would be unfair. The fun is in seeing to what lengths Szifron is willing to go in his quest for humour of such a dark shade of black that it must have been borrowed from Hades. In fact, it is just as well to warn you that if you are of a delicate disposition, then you should definitely give this a wide birth. It may be very funny, but it is also brutal, graphic and way over the top. Let's just say that Pedro Almodovar is one of the producers, and this film makes his own movies look rather tame.


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