Saturday, 2 May 2015

'Wild Tales' by Almodovar

Last week I was taken (not quite at gunpoint) to see a new Argentinian film called 'Wild Tales'. How many Argentinian films have you seen? Yes, exactly.

This film was co-produced by a certain SeƱor Pedro Almodovar so that was the reason for seeing it. It's like a book of short stories - five or six stories told in order throughout the film with nothing really binding them together. They all have a level of shock value but that's about it, no consistent themes or compelling stories leading from one to another. In a sense they're all about "the individual" except sometimes the individual is sometimes two individuals.

The first story sees a young woman hurrying to check in at the airport and boarding the plane, only to sit beside the music teacher of one of her old boyfriends. The lady in front turns out to be one of his primary school teachers and then, a few rows away, is his former 'best friend' from school. What's going on? O yes, he turns out to be the captain of the plane which seems to flying directly for his parents house and it gets closer and closer as his parents start to cower… and then the opening credits roll!

Another tale is about the urban myth of a city slicker driving in the wild and empty desert when a country bumpkin maniac won't let him overtake on an empty road. He finally manages to overtake and calls him an 'asshole' when he does so. Then one of his tyres gets a puncture… O yes, then the madness ensues and I do mean madness! It's not pleasant and there were some people laughing with the nervousness of it all - it wasn't terribly scary but when the bumpkin lowers his trousers to defacate on the windshield then it's definitely not normal.

Another weird one was the little man fighting corporate power when his car keeps getting towed away for parking violations and he has to keep paying to get it back. Then one time is too much and he resorts to his work skills to get even and make a point. His job? O yes, he's an explosives expert for a demolitions company and he blows up buildings for a job. It was pretty obvious that he'd blow something up at some point but I couldn't guess how the story ended at all - very clever!

The final story (and I haven't mentioned them all since you need some surprises) is set at a wedding reception. What a happy occasion, what could possibly go wrong? You had to ask…

I was pleasantly surprised by the film - it was all terribly amusing where it was meant to be amusing and a bit creepy where it's meant to be creepy. It worked for me and was great fun. I've no idea how long it'll be available on the big but if it comes anywhere near you then I'd happily recommend it - provided you don't mind reading your films...

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