Tuesday, April 21, 2015

RELATOS SALVAJES
(WILD TALES)


I usually check the list of films shown at the various film festivals (Cannes, Venice, Berlin) as my reference on the latest foreign language movies. I also include the Oscar nominations for the Best Foreign Language category. If the plot/story line interests me I'd wait for them to be available, online.

This Argentinian film was in competition at Cannes 2014, it was also nominated for the Best Foreign Language category at the Academy Awards. Rightfully so, I'd say because it had a really intriguing premise. This dark comedy presents through 6 different snippets how easily human beings can lose control due to injustice, inequality and/or unfair treatment. A very thin line exists between maintaining proper decorum and the burst of rage when we are suddenly confronted with an unpredictable situation.

Six stories with different characters, scenarios set in venues ranging from an airplane, a dinghy restaurant, driving on a lonely highway to a wedding reception. The stories do not overlap yet concludes without any loose ends. Each vignette is self contained and the details shown are just about enough to understand very clearly what is unfolding. The ensemble cast is composed of well known actors and actresses. Some of them are familiar as I've seen them in other movies set in Argentina. 

Overall, the humor is quite dark, sometimes downright offensive and often marked with violent reaction/behavior from the characters. Yet we can all relate with them as at some period in our lives, we have all dealt with bureaucracy, road rage and a general sense of being treated unfairly.

Throughout the entire film, I had one nagging thought: 'Sometimes it is better to just let things go'. Yet this dark comedy proves sometimes it is also morally accurate to stand up for your violated rights. Just be sure, you are ready to accept the mitigated consequences of your actions.

It is difficult to review without adding some spoilers but I believe it is best to experience this masterpiece from Argentina, first-hand. Grab a copy and marvel at this excellent film which is well paced, masterly edited with the precisely controlled balance between the matter-of-fact and the shamelessly hysterical situations.

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