How far must you be pushed until you carry out an act of vengeful violence? Amid a city’s every day assaults to the spirit – awful traffic, rude people, unfair rules, unfaithful lovers, spiteful bullies – what’s that final straw that will throw you overboard?
Wild Tales, directed by Damián Szifron, is a delightful dark comedy of six unrelated stories that commonly document those final strings snapping: the series of events that thrust seemingly normal people off the wagon of reason and prompt them into carrying out immense violence. There is blood. There is a bit of murder. Surprisingly, there were also chuckles from the audience, more so because of the absurdity rather than the bloodshed.
The biggest achievement of the film is placing the audience in situations they could find or already have found themselves facing. Been mistreated by a cheating girlfriend? Been slapped by one too many unreasonable parking tickets? Had a bully steal from you or your family? Encountered a road jack*ss who wouldn’t let you through? We’ve all been there, experienced some form of betrayal, malice or injustice from our loved ones, our acquaintances, complete strangers. We may even have been the culprits. In our wildest imaginations we give ourselves superpowers to right what we have been wronged and teach our tormentors a lesson. Wild Tales shows us what happens when these fantasies are carried out.
The central message seems to be this: be kind to each other; moreover, be fair. The undulating anger and resentment that brews after a wrong may not easily be diffused. There is a savagery in every human that we want not awaken. You never know when the pain you choose to cause another is that person’s final straw.
A materially rich, consistently entertaining film. One worth rewatching.
In sexy Argentinean Spanish.