A fast-paced, cleverly crafted collections of six short films.
Wild Tales is one of those films that literally and metaphorically takes you on a ride; and what a wild ride this one is. Produced by Pedro Almodóvar, and directed by Damián Szifrón, the film is an intense, fast-paced study of human nature. The six short stories which combine to form the 139 minute feature all investigate the average, day-to-day things that enrage the average human being, from having to pay a parking ticket, to insulting someone who is driving too slow, depicting them on screen in a hilarious, ironic, and sometime even compassionate manner.
The trickiest aspect of working with six different stories is effectively tying them together, drawing them towards an eventual conclusion. Each of the different chapters flow into the next one through clever cinematographic techniques such as visual editing tools and echoes in the stories’ narrations. Each story is approximately 20-minute long, meaning it proves difficult to actually delve deeply into their narrative plots without spoiling twists and endings, however, expect a lot of bloody, deadly tales of revenge. The way each story slowly escalates, whilst sounding highly familiar at times, is by far the film’s biggest strength. We cannot help but feel sorry for the man who looses everything after refusing to pay his parking tickets, and we cringe when two guys start a fierce fight on the only premise that their ego has been, for a short moment, brought down.
At last, the overall cinematography of the film is absolutely fantastic. The final sequence involving a wedding is particularly well filmed, evolving around shots of the two newly-weds dancing in the middle of the room. Glamorous and dramatic, the ending of that sequence might well surprise you, whilst keeping you on the edge. With this feature, Szifrón proves that he certainly knows how to play with the audience as much as the character he displays.
Wild Tales (2014) directed by Damián Szifrón, is distributed in the UK on DVD and Blu-ray by Artificial Eye, Certificate 15.