I'd love to build this up as one of the best films of 2015... but, of course, it was actually Oscar-nominated for Best Foreign Language Film for 2014. It's only now that it's actually PLAYING in my neck of the woods. So... it's too late to campaign. But go OUT OF YOUR WAY to see WILD TALES all the same.
We're all friends here. We've all said "I'd like to KILL him!" at one point or another in regards to various infractions and inconveniences, certainly not all of which were life-threatening. We wanted to kill everyone from the guy who cut us off in traffic to the villain who beat the legal system and "got away with it." And if we haven't said it, we've thought it. So here comes WILD TALES, the feature debut from prolific Argentine television writer/director Damián Szifron to act it all out in a series of six revenge-fantasy scenarios. So... are your fantasies going to be fulfilled to your satisfaction? Are you going to get a sober lesson about getting what you wished for and having to live with it? Are you going to figure out how these stories are going to turn out? Yes. No. All of the above and none. No consistent tone, be it comedic, dramatic, moral or purgative. Just something that lives up to its title (not to mention title SEQUENCE) as we let the animal out over and over again for two hours of solid and frequently raucous entertainment.
Unfortunately, I'm not willing to go further than most critics and give you more than teasers. Spoilers hurt, my friends. Spoilers hurt. But I'll try to tempt your palate all the same...
An opening vignette where coincidence goes too far to be coincidence. Unfortunately, this one's doomed to be conflated (for a while, anyway) with some recent true-life headline grabbers to which the narrative bears only a superficial and (there's that word again) coincidental resemblance. The final shot of this one is as masterful a payoff as I can recall.
A waitress recognizes her only customer in a lonely diner as... well... the bad guy who got away with it.
The road-rage incident. Starts off like DUEL without a monster tanker. Escalates to apocalyptic levels. Unforgettable.
The guy who lets his rage against "the system" (as represented by traffic fines and towing companies) take charge of his life.
The wealthy patriarch that tries to arrange the perfect cover-up to protect his weak-willed son from the consequences of a fatal hit-and-run. Wait a minute--what does this have to do with revenge? Whoops! THERE it is!
And the wedding. Why did the groom invite HER? Might he have...??? You do NOT want to be a guest here. "Awkward" doesn't begin to cover it. But every time you think you know how it's going to turn out...
As in not off. If you want to post about mainstream flicks, this is the forum.
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