Title – Wild Tales “Relatos salvajes” (2014)
Director – Damián Szifrón (On Probation)
Cast – Ricardo Darin, Oscar Martinez, Erica Rivas, Leonardo Sbaraglia
Plot – A dark comedy that features 6 different stories all centred on revenge and people who’ve gone past the point of no return.
“Business or pleasure?”
Review by Eddie on 29/01/2016
Sweet revenge, poetic justice and plain old sticking it to the man, who doesn’t love such things? They’re staples of cinema, from Once Upon a Time in the West, Oldboy through to what Damián Szifrón’s multiple story filled saga Wild Tales could compare itself to most, Falling Down.
In Joel Schumacher’s well liked and remembered Michael Douglas starrer from 1993 where Douglas’s William Foster had finally had enough and took his anger out on a city (and its poor fast food workers) audiences got to live viscerally through scenarios that our wildest imaginations have perhaps at times wandered off to and it’s in this unlikely yet somehow relatable subconscious that Szifron makes Wild Tales work as some form of distant cousin to Schumacher’s anti-establishment flick.
Backed by famed director Pedro Almodovar, Szifron’s Argentinian film (which was nominated for Best Foreign Film at last year’s Academy Awards) is a well shot and highly dark collection of stories that all in some way, shape or form centre around revenge.
As with all such films that feature a mishmash of stories, Szifron finds himself succeeding at some (a highway set piece and a hit and run cover up are highlights) whilst other scenarios like a diner scene or the films wedding finale feel a tad underwhelming but Wild Tales constantly engages the audience with its for lack of better word “wild” tone and lack of political correctness that would not be found in a Hollywood production of a similar ilk.
Blood is spilled, explosions are ignited and rat poison is used in but a few of Wild Tales scenes and the film has an air of unpredictability about it that will often have you on tenterhooks even if the film could’ve lost 15 – 20 minutes in the editing suite thanks to a few segments that seem a little flabby around the edges, with drawn out situations and scenes, but there’s little doubting the originality of much of what Wild Tales brings to the table.
For fans of dark comedy not unlike early Coen Brother films or even a Tarantino creation, Wild Tales could just well become a new favourite and while some segments fall a little flat, Wild Tales is certainly one heck of a ride and the perfect antidote for those seeking a break from the usual Hollywood fair.
3 ½ angry chefs out of 5