Relatos salvajes [Wild Tales] (2014)

Relatos salvajes
Director: Damián Szifron
Writer: Germán Servidio, Damián Szifron
Cast: Darío Grandinetti, María Marull, Mónica Villa, Rita Cortese, Julieta Zylberberg, Leonardo Sbaraglia, Walter Donado, Ricardo Darín, Nancy Dupláa, Oscar Martínez, María Onetto, Erica Rivas, Diego Gentile
Seen on: 18.5.2021

Six stories all about revenge. On a flight that seems to be just like any other, two passengers (Darío Grandinetti, María Marull) get to talking and realize something strange. In a remote restaurant, the waitress (Julieta Zylberberg) recognizes her family’s tormentor in her guest. Two men (Leonardo Sbaraglia, Walter Donado) become competitive as they drive past each other. An engineer (Ricardo Darín) feels exploited by his car being towed from an unmarked spot. Two parents (Oscar Martínez, María Onetto) will do anything to save their son from going to prison. Newlyweds (Erica Rivas, Diego Gentile) have to face a crisis when she finds out at the wedding that he cheated on her.

Relatos salvajes is supposed to be funny, but it just wasn’t my sense of humor for the most part. There were moments, but overall I felt that it was trying a little too hard for “gotchas” that only worked half of the time.

The film poster showing one protagonist from each segment (and from the second segment, two) standing in a V-formation.

The stories in Relatos salvajes are not connected to each other apart from the similar topic they explore. Despite that, they are very similar in tone, always starting rather calmly, then turning frantic as they go on. Which one of the six will be your favorite will probably depend on your personal preferences, because they are all pretty equal in quality. I probably liked the second one best, though the ending was one of the “gotcha” ones that didn’t work.

The film was trying a little too hard to be clever in its surprises – mostly they were not surprises at all. It might have done the film some good to just play it straight. Apart from that, though, the quality isn’t bad at all. The film looks good, the set-up usually works nicely, the acting is excellent, with Erica Rivas a particular stand-out.

Roman (Erica Rivas) in her bridal gown, looking disheveled, a couple of blood stains on her, standing behind the wedding cake.

There were moments when I laughed (“If the rat poison is expired, does that make it more or less dangerous?”), but overall, I just didn’t care for the film’s sense of humor. I just didn’t find the stories or the characters particularly funny, nor did I find them very interesting. Admittedly, I’m not the most “revengey” person, but usually I can go along a little better with revenge stories.

In any case, whatever the reason, Relatos salvajes got more of a tired smile than outright laughter from me. My emotional investment was negligible and I’m pretty sure it will be one of the films that I’ll forget pretty quickly.

Simón (Ricardo Darín) at the car towing place.

Summarizing: eh.

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