Wild Tales

How to discuss this giddily inventive Argentinian feature without ruining its many surprises? The chief pleasure of Wild Tales is its sheer unpredictability; throughout the film, writer-director Damián Szifron flips the tone from farce to horror and back again, piles up absurd coincidences, and without warning throws his characters into life-or-death situations. The film presents six stories about revenge and chance, each beginning believably but getting crazier as it goes along. Szifron routinely sacrifices plausibility for narrative showmanship—more than any of the actors, he’s the star of the show. One could argue that he treats his characters like puppets (the escalating, violent rivalries suggest an elaborate Punch and Judy show), yet a good puppeteer can raise his craft to the level of art, which Szifron often succeeds in doing. As you might guess from the title, his theme is the joy of storytelling itself. Continue reading >>