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Film Review: "Wild Tales"


An exhilarating, wickedly funny anthology film, the Oscar-nominated "Wild Tales" presents six separate tales centered around acts of unbridled revenge. Each story follows a protagonist who takes their desire for vengeance against the injustices of life (both large and small) to outrageous extremes: from its opening, about passengers aboard a plane realizing they all have a very specific connection in common, to the final story -- about an extravagant wedding reception which takes a turn once the bride discovers the groom as cheated on her. That final story was so hilariously deranged that I found myself immediately skipping back on my screener to watch it again.

Argentinian writer-director Damián Szifron is a master of tone, coming across as a mix between Pedro Almodovar (who acts as producer on the film) and Quentin Tarantino. While his film appears to wallow in the ugliness of humanity, it somehow avoids coming across as too misanthropic or nihilistic (aside from one story -- about a rich man who uses his wealth to cover up a hit-and-run accident committed by his son -- which does little to hide the bitterness beneath its simmering class resentments). On the contrary, while it doesn't exactly paint a flattering portrait of humanity, Szifron argues that it's our capacity to do both good as well as evil that makes us all so terribly human.