Wild Tales is a film comprising of 6 short films all loosely linked by the kind of people that reach a point and stop giving a rat’s ass, a flying fuck or any kind of transferable obscenity. It’s hilariously reflective of a sizeable chunk of society, the portion who’d rather maintain their personal moral code and end up imprisoned, maimed or dead than suffer the puniest disrespect. Sometimes, people go wild.
The first of the six stories is known as “Pasternak”, people start talking on a plane and realise they all know… the same… person… how odd. How odd that none of them liked this person. How odd none of them purchased their own tickets for the flight but instead were given/gifted them. How odd. Not unlikely, the opening sequence of PTA’s Magnolia tells us of unlikely events, no, so many subtly linked persons in the same place is a result of planning, a certainty, like the friends of the birthday girl showing up at the party knowing one another too. This situation then is relatable as it’s realistically possible, but detached as it’s also incredibly different to real life – like a film is to an audience. The lack of lengthy narrative, lead characters etc. stabilise the film in this space and made it very unique and exciting and worthy of the Oscar nod it received.
Writer-Director Damián Szifron’s scenarios for the six stories are also really interesting. For me one of my reasons for loving cinema (and even photography) is it gives me the ability to see new images; maybe that’s the reason I hate Superhero films. What I mean by this is on multiple occasions among the tales were sets, shots, looks, fights and people I’d felt like I was seeing for the first time (and I consume a lot of media). When the aforementioned “Pasternak” plane lifts-off the camera is level with the hull of the ascending plane looking out the window at the angled horizon: a man near hanged from his car which is perched nose first on a van in a river under a bridge: a bride shagging a cook on a skyscraper roof – the finales seem reverse-engineered, they’re brilliant.
Brilliantly funny, too. The Wild people we know are often the most entertaining and the huge performances from everyone involved (Ricardo Darin from The Secret in Their Eyes is in it) back up the irony, the satire, the absurdity of it all whole-heartedly.
It’s funnier than Grimsby.