thu 30/06/2022

LFF 2014: Wild Tales | reviews, news & interviews

LFF 2014: Wild Tales

LFF 2014: Wild Tales

A ceaselessly inventive black comedy from Argentina breathes new life into the portmanteau film

Cutting the cake - and more? A woman scorned in 'Wild Tales'

Argentine cinema is best known for its serious side – finely-honed arthouse fare from the likes of Lucrecia Martel, Pablo Trapero and Lisandro Alonso. But the Argentines can do mainstream very well. And this is a big, bold, glossily-produced, highly entertaining black comedy – a collection of stand-alone stories connected by the theme of revenge, the practice of which is lent one spectacular expression after another.

There’s the passenger flight that gives the film its visually impressive opening, on which everyone aboard has a particular acquaintance in common; the no-holds-barred road rage duel between a well-groomed city dude in his sports car and the beefy truck driver he makes the mistake of calling a redneck; the dilemma of a waitress in a roadside diner, when the man who destroyed her family walks in and orders egg and chips; and the demolition expert (Ricardo Darín) who slowly loses his rag over the everyday grievances of city life, prompting the obvious question of what’s going to blow when he does?

A hit-and-run story, which plays like a less subtle riff on Martel’s The Headless Woman (and even features that film’s star, María Onetto) is a slight misstep. But it's quickly followed by the icing on the cake, a wedding party, during which the bride becomes aware of her groom’s infidelity and doesn't waste a moment in striking back.

If one gets the feeling that writer/director Damián Szifrón is egging himself on to go ever more over the top, any self-indulgence can be excused when the excess is underpinned by so much invention and panache.

Any self-indulgence can be excused when the excess is underpinned by so much invention and panache

rating

Editor Rating: 
4
Average: 4 (1 vote)

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