Movie Review: Wild Tales (Relatos Salvajes)

Road rage like you've never seen before in "Wild Tales."

Road rage like you’ve never seen before in “Wild Tales.”

Do not fear this Oscar nominee for Best Foreign Language Film. It’s not about history or disease or religion. “Wild Tales” is an anthology film, a gut-busting satire with six stories of people losing control. Written and directed by Argentina’s Damian Szifron, this brilliant black comedy will make you laugh or drive you crazy. Maybe a little of both.

The first story takes place on a commercial airline flight. Two passengers, sitting across the aisle from each other, realize they have a mutual acquaintance. And, “Pasternak” is not very well-remembered by either. Soon, other passengers get involved with hilarious results.

Remember, revenge is a key motivating factor in most of the stories. Number 2 is about a very unpleasant fellow who stops at the diner where the waitress recognizes him as an inscrutable moneylender. What will she do?

Number 3 deals with road rage. Number 4 concerns a guy vs. a tow truck company. Number 5 is about a fatal hit-and-run accident and “affluenza” And, number 6 takes place at the wedding of an unfaithful groom and a jealous wife.

Six amazing little stories that are entertaining to say the least. Some might even find them a bit upsetting. But, no one will argue that these stories come from true genius. Szifron masters satire. I don’t know if he will move on to another form of cinema. But, I don’t think I’m ever going to forget these six stories.

Technical credits are excellent. Special effects are convincing. The musical score is by one of the best, Argentina’s Gustavo Santaolalla, a two-time Oscar winner. Javier Julia’s cinematography brought crisp, clear images to light. The editing, so important to an anthology, was also top-notch.

“Wild Tales” and its sinful six stories will make you laugh in a very unsettling way. Karma’s a bitch. And, it’s good to know that it catches up to people from time to time. Grade: A

A routine domestic flight becomes anything but in "Wild Tales."

A routine domestic flight becomes anything but in “Wild Tales.”