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WILD TALES (2014,ARGENTINA)

Updated: Apr 26, 2018



Produced by Pedro Almodóvar, Academy award nominated “Wild Tales” is an uproarious

exercise in cleverly calculated randomness. If that sounds like a paradox, it is because it is

one. Writer-director Damien Szifrón has constructed an unexpected collection of 6 satirical

short films which, when viewed together, tell the story of corruption and tension within

Argentine society.

By exploiting the unspoken “rules and regulations” of society such as etiquette and class,

Szifrón uses familiar character stereotypes to hilariously subvert power dynamics and

audience expectations. In this world, a businessman engages in road rage with a red neck, a

waitress serves rat poison to a mayor and a bride seeks life advice from a chef during her

wedding night. These characters and their painfully real interactions with unfortunate events

is where Szifrón strikes gold within the narrative, as we relate to their frustrations as if they

were our own. He explores the electric tension between the pairing of desire and restraint

and the ultimate catch 22 that unfolds when a character throws all inhibition to the wind. In

the world of “Wild Tales” anything is possible and consequence is a thing of the future.

In this way the film is rooted in the “now”, in the present moment. It owns each second on

screen and demands to be watched and felt, and like a good joke, “Wild Tales” has you

hanging out for the punch line. Visually, the film literally explodes on screen with a variety of

ridiculously novel scenarios and visual gags, my personal favourite being the opening

sequence which I won’t ruin for you.

“Wild Tales” almost applauds the irrational behaviours of the repressed responsible citizen

that lives in us all, and celebrates their bravery and solidarity as they defend themselves in a

world of chaos and corruption. The film ultimately empowers the viewer through the reckless

actions of the characters by using black humour to inject a certain irony and “humaness” into

the stories. “Wild Tales” is a success in storytelling and reclaims not only the repressed

individual, but also reclaims the format of the short film and reiterates their powerful

relevance in contemporary cinema.

4.5/ 5 stars