Keswick Film Club - Reviews - Wild Tales

Reviews - Wild Tales

Wild Tales

Reviewed By Ian Payne

Wild Tales
Wild Tales
Over the years Keswick Film Club has seen a number of films from South America, always intriguing, sometimes challenging and occasionally very funny.

Wild Tales from Argentina, did not disappoint in any of those areas. Given the choice of a novel or collection of short stories, I would take a novel every time. Neither am I a particular fan of the short film. Why then, did this portmanteau movie work so well?

In the audience, we knew that we were about to see 6 tales on the theme of revenge and in the opening scene as the pretty girl gets chatted up by a sleazy guy on an aeroplane, I for one could see exactly where this was going. Yeah, right.

Throughout the film, scenarios were developed characters assumed roles and then did the polar opposite of what we anticipated. In the aeroplane, a seemingly absurd set of coincidences was nothing of the sort.

In a roadside cafe, a waitress confides to the cook that the guy who has just come in from the rain was responsible for the destruction of her family. In a twist worthy of Hitchcock (think Strangers on a Train), the cook takes matters into her own hands.

As the Executive in the BMW expresses his road rage to the hick in the beat up old car, in the middle of nowhere, we are immediately in Duel territory and if the two drivers in Spielberg's film had ever met face to face we might have seen something as wild and indeed brutal as in this tale, albeit without the vein of macabre humour that ran throughout.

A demolition expert's car is towed away, twice – the anticipation of just how his revenge will come and with what consequences was delicious. A rich family protects a delinquent son from facing the charges of a hit and run accident (shades of Human Capital from last season). As the possibilities for graft and corruption mount and the role of scapegoat is passed around, the humour is cut short as someone takes the consequences for real.

As for infidelity, revenge for that particular indiscretion is the basis for the final tale. A society wedding disintegrates under the fury of a scorned bride, who clearly feels that it is a dish served, like the pastrami – hot!

The pacing of the film throughout from the opening credits to the final sequence, allied to a fantastic soundtrack made Wild Tales one of the most popular films so far this season. So many of our worst characteristics on display – and we all come out smiling!

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Keswick Film Club won the Best New Film Society at the British Federation Of Film Societies awards in 2000.

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