I told my daughter I was going to the cinema and she asked me what I was going to see.
“It’s Argentinian,” I said.
“Why do you want to see an Argentinian film?” she asked. “We already saw a Saudi Arabian film.”
Clearly watching a foreign film, while being a nice experience, is not something she feels the need to repeat, which is a shame, because Wild Tales was fantastic. It had everything: it was funny, it was surprising, it was tense, it was scary, it was uplifting.
The film comprises of 6 short films, all exploring the theme of conflict and revenge. Conceptually, it is very thought provoking. We see a range of conflicts and motives: one on one, individual vs system, long burning, spur of the moment, and also internal conflicts, where characters were made to question their own motivations. I even felt that I was being invited to question my own reactions by some provocative scenarios.
Technially, it was beautifully shot, involving everything from mountain scenery, to complex fight choreography in the smallest space you can imagine, to scenes where you wondered whether they were real or special effects.
There was only one film out of the six that I was disappointed with, because it didn’t end as cleverly as the others. There were some great twists, where a different point of view was revealed, and everything up until that point was revealed as being a different thing from what I thought it was.
I’ll take many things from this film, among them an appreciation that even the dullest of tasks, such as changing a car tyre, can be made into the tensest of scenes in the right hands. And there was an amazing love scene. I’m not so much into hetero stuff these days, and often find portrayals of male-female relationships in books and films rather ho-hum, as if the creator hasn’t really bothered, but just thought that the mere being of a male and female character is enough reason to pair them up. But this one smouldered! Sparks, explosions, and animal instinct, it was all there.