Film Review: Wild Tales (Relatos Salvajes)

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Words | Max Mahood

Wild Tales (Spanish: Relatos Salvajes) is a 2014 film from Argentinean director Damian Szifron that tells the stories of six people whose days have been going from bad to worse.

Going into this film, I honestly thought it would be like Pulp Fiction purely based on what I’d read of the film on the internet…so yeah I was excited.

I could not have been more wrong. This film, which is an Academy Award nominee for ‘best foreign language film’, is actually a darkly hilarious romp through the worst of the human experience. I mean, we all get stressed and agitated from time to time, but this movie turns it up to 11 with the wackiness. Case in point is the opening story: the bizarre coincidence of everyone on the plane knowing the same guy with the psychotic steward who locks himself in the cabin causing the plane to crash into an old couple taking tea on their lawn.

After the credits have rolled, we cut to a restaurant where the waitress realises that the customer who has just walked in caused a tragedy in her family. After a heated discussion behind closed doors, the cook is promptly whisked away by the police. A workaholic engineer gets his car towed, fed up with civic incompetence, rigs up his car to blow, causing his life to spiral out of control.

All these stories move fairly quickly, I suppose in line with the intensity of the subject matter. The story ties itself together by each vignette having an element of the violence that we delight in on screen.

Wild Tales is wonderfully brilliant; using the power of comedy to show the darkest sides of the human condition. I think that this film is absolutely insane and definitely innovative in its execution. It’s not violent in the ‘traditional’ sense, whatever that is. I think that this is a humorous commentary on how far we as humans would want to go with some people. I give it 4.5/5, simply because at times- the stories can feel too separated from each other, while sharing the same universe.

Wild Tales stars (in no particular order, and this list is not exhaustive) Maria Marull, Leonardo Sbaraglia, Ricardo Darin and Erica Rivas. Catch it at Dendy Newtown or Palace Verona Paddington.

wild tales