Published March 12, 2015
One of the leftovers of the smörgåsbord that was the Stockfish Film Festival is Wild Tales, still being screened at Bíó Paradís. These are not sloppy seconds, however, but rather one of the absolute highlights of the festival. No wonder it was chosen as its closing film.
Wild Tales opens with that often maligned species, the critic (see also: Birdman), trying to engage a young woman on a plane in conversation. Turns out one of the artists whose career he ruined is her ex. Said ex also turns out to be a former student of the woman sitting in front of them.
Here we seem to be mired in one of these myriad Hollywood storylines that routinely bring estranged siblings and their father together on the same planet-destroying space station by mere chance. But no, there is method to the madness here and we soon learn why everyone on the plane knows the same failed composer. This has to be one of the better opening scenes in recent memory, and sets the stage for a movie about that perennial Hollywood preoccupation, revenge.
But this is Argentina. They do things differently down there. Six tales of routine transgressions spiral into ever-crazier revenge ploys but unlike Hollywood takes on the subject, fulfilment in life is not necessarily to be found in watching the bad guy suffer. Oh, and this is also much more entertaining than your run of the mill revenge flick.
Usually, the problem with collage films is that they are uneven in tone, but here we have the same guy (Damián Szifron) directing all six episodes on the same theme, which ensures unity of purpose. Revenge in Argentina is delightful, at least for those who aren’t on the receiving end, and even after two hours, I could easily have gone for two more.
Wild Tales can be caught at Bíó Paradís. Check their website for tickets and showtimes and whatnot.