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