Blu-Ray Review – Wild Tales (2014)

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Anthology films are a curious beast of a genre in the history of cinema. They fundamentally have a problem in the sense some segments will play better than others. Wild Tales certainly can’t escape this trait but its madcap enough to sustain its 2 hour running time. It bears the banner of Pedro Almodóvar presents but it has more in tune at times with the middle class amorality prevalent in another Spanish auteur Luis Buñuel oeuvre.

The film starts with quite an opening that owes more than a bit to the classic Anthology show The Twilight Zone than the biting satire of  Buñuel. It shows a plane where everyone has a connection to the pilot and it may not be a coincidence. This is the closest the film gets into supernatural territory, the rest of the 6 tales are very much rooted in the realities of modern life but what an opening.

There is certainly remnants of Joel Schmacher’s woefully underrated Falling Down throughout the remaining stories. Each story for the most part deals with a protagonist who have something that goes horribly wrong which isn’t entirety their fault and take it out on the modern world. The 4th tale deals with a demolition expert and you know that’s going to have an explosive climax (bad pun whole heartedly intended).

The final two segments could have quite easily been fleshed out into 90 minutes features without much hassle. They also are by far the longest of the tales, the first 3 are about 10 to 15 minutes in length but the last one was over half an hour I believe. The first one is about a son who accidentally kills a pregnant woman but his family go through insane methods to protect him from justice. The final and possibly best is about a bride who finds out during her wedding, her husband has cheated on her and it falls into such anarchic chaos it becomes reminiscent of the climax of the classic Czech film Daisies.

Wild Tales is an anarchic wildly inventive anthology film which is has an energy that is rare in modern cinema. I haven’t seen any of director Damián Szifron’s other films on the strength of this film he is certainly a director worth investigating. The Blu-Ray includes a making of, an interview with Damián Szifron and finally the trailer.

[rating=4]
Ian Schultz

Genre: Comedy, Drama | Distributor: Artificial Eye Film | Release Date: 15th June 2015 | Rating:15 | Director: Damián Szifrón | Cast: Liliana Ackerman, Alejandro Angelini, Luis Manuel Altamirano | Buy: DVD

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