Relatos Salvajes (Wild Tales – 2014)
written and directed by Damián Szifron
People tell me I have a weird sense of humor, and they’re probably right. A good example of the type of thing I like in comedy is this black beyond black anthology film from Argentina. The main theme throughout is the loss of control, and it’s a treat to see how far writer/director Damián Szifron will go with each of his six outlandish premises. From a plane full of passengers who somehow know the suicidal flight attendant, to two men fighting mano a mano on a deserted highway (from hell), Relatos Salvajes (English title: Wild Tales) serves its satire with a side of subtext: Class discrimination, infidelity, bureaucracy, there’s no stone unturned.
In the best segment, Bombita, a demolitions expert (Ricardo Darín) gets his car towed, and the event evolves into a series of absurd situations that ultimately cost him his job, family, and sanity. His solution? To detonate the towing company’s lot. It’s funny and very relatable – for how many times haven’t we railed against the powers that be? And if we had any knowledge about explosives, wouldn’t we also try to get sweet, sweet revenge? Better not answer.
There’s a thin line between humans and animals, and Relatos Salvajes crosses it gleefully. You’ll laugh uncomfortably… and that’s a good recipe for catharsis.
Carlos I. Cuevas