Monday, September 21, 2015
WILD TALES Is An Unforgettable Anthology
WILD TALES Review:
- Last year, WILD TALES was nominated for a Best Foreign Language Film award at the Oscars, but few in the US had the opportunity to see it until recently. The movie is now available to be seen on VOD and digital platforms, and it's 100% worth a watch. It's a completely crazy, mind-melting anthology film that calls to mind TV series like Black Mirror - as it looks at the extremes of human nature and morality, much in the same ways as the acclaimed show. Personally, I love this stuff - and the tales in Wild Tales are now etched in my memory in the same way as are the best episodes of Black Mirror or The Twilight Zone.
WILD TALES comes from Argentinian writer/director Damián Szifrón - and the film stands as an intriguing look at Argentinian culture and tensions. Certainly, many of the film's themes are universal - but it also no doubt provides a slice of Argentinian life and a colorful look at the country and its people.
But what Szifron does best is to act as a modern-day Rod Serling, presenting extreme stories that take their premises to dark, funny, and oftentimes jaw-dropping places. Take, for instance, the story of a wedding at which the just-married bride discovers that her new husband has been having an affair with one of her co-workers. What starts as a typical if melodramatic relationship drama escalates into one of the craziest, most insane stories I've ever seen on film - as the wedding devolves into a full-on battle royale of the highest order. Or take, for example, the story of an arrogant driver who runs into trouble on the road, when he gets into a spat with a rough customer who doesn't take kindly to getting flipped off. You think you know where the story might be headed, but Szifron pushes further - and further - until you can't help but be shocked at how far things go. The most Twilight Zone-esque of all the stories might be the opening segment, in which passengers on a plane discover they each have a startling connection to one another. It's a great little story - an EC Comics / Tales from the Crypt-esque parable that is just gleefully deranged.
WILD TALES is flat-out twisted at times - and I got the same feeling watching it as I did viewing Black Mirror. I've watched a lot of movies and TV, and I sometimes think I've seen it all. But WILD TALES goes to places I never expected and that really had my jaw agape. And it's great storytelling through and through.
There are some real standout performances throughout the film's various segments, and it would take a long while to run through them all. But I'll mention the knockout performance from Erica Rivas in the aforementioned wedding-gone-wrong story, as Rivas absolutely kills it
To say too much about the plotlines of the various anthology segments would be to spoil a lot of the what-will-they-do-next fun of the film. So I'll simply say: give WILD TALES a look. It's one of the craziest, most memorable movies I've watched this year.
My Grade: A-