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Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Ivy

As a student of Literature, I had a tough time dissecting Coleridge’s “The Rime of the Ancient Mariner”; the subtext was very difficult for me to fathom. But imagine my surprise when Turkish director Tolga Karacelik based his second feature Ivy on this very poem. Not only did it seem a daunting task, it was a mighty zealous one too. Ivy has the modern day setting of the “Ancient Mariner”, as it reveal the gradual psychosis faced by the sailors from boredom, deprivation and internal conflicts, on board the Turkish vessel as it lies stranded, off the coast of Egypt.

Ivy can be considered as a slow paced psychological thriller, with subsequent supernatural occurrences towards the end. Captain Beybaba takes in a few replacements at one port, in the hope to continue with his voyage to Egypt smoothly. The voyage is an important one for all the crew onboard since none of them have been paid for months.  But both the captain and the crew get a rude shock when they learn that the ship owner has declared himself bankrupt and is now absconding.  During such a circumstance if the ship anchors at the port, everything will be impounded. The only way out of such a clutch and ensure that they get paid their dues is that a minimum of six able sailors should stay on board the ship, for an indefinite period, until the legal morass is untangled.


The six who are left behind is an odd amalgamation. Apart from the captain who chooses to keep himself distant from the rest of the crew, there is the cook Nadir, Ismail, a religious family man, who abhors discourtesy and laziness, two dope smoking newcomers – Cenk and Alpher and finally a giant of a man – Kurd, a character of few words. The first few days pass away in easeful languor, but tempers soon begin to flare up in the face of the dwindling provisions and the vast emptiness of the ocean that the group has to face every minute of their day. The subconscious is numbed as the sailors perform their torpidly repetitive jobs; it further agitates them, and frequent fights break out between the group. While Alpher is quite harmless and usually follows Cenk’s lead, Cenk is the lax indolent provocateur, who is hankering for the keys to medicine cabinet, after his dope runs out. But things take a toll for the worse, when one from the group disappears and there are subsequent sightings of him, which is an eerie comparison to the ghost of the albatross.

What is unrevealed in the later segment is the fragmenting power dynamics of the ship. There is a sense of claustrophobia all around, as the sailors can see the shore but are unable to reach it. The shoreline feels near yet is far away and remains static. Time seems at a deadlock, thus reminding the audience every time of the ordeal of the sailors - “Water, water everywhere, nor any drop to drink.” As the film navigates to its end, we sense a feeling of almost Kafaesque dread, fuelled with the paranoia encountered by the sailors. Ivy with all its efforts, moves sluggishly, but musters enough atmospheric charisma to generate as much as tension and abstruseness it can.


Saturday, November 21, 2015

The Corpse of Anna Fritz

The Corpse of Anna Fritz is not subtle, not even in its name. You know that a corpse is involved; it is the corpse of Anna Fritz. Anna Fritz is dead, the darling of the paparazzi and her fans, a renowned actress who has worked with all the celebrated names of Hollywood.  But right now her body is held in an unnamed hospital, being wheeled around to the morgue for an autopsy to be performed.  With the setting as a morgue, director Hector Hernandez Vicens begins his delightfully dark, provocative thriller, which at the same time is flavoured with a perverse dose of necrophilia.


Vicens has shown an abashed amount of audacity to portray the taboo that is necrophilia; this is the road that is very less travelled.  What begins as a bit of a celebrity obsession turns into a nightmare for Pau (Albert Carbó), Ivan (Cristian Valencia) and Javi (Bernat Saumell). As an orderly at the hospital where the body of Anna Fritz is being held, Pau can’t help show off to his two friends the dead face of the most famous woman in Spain as he takes a picture on his phone and sends it to them. Ivan and Javi drop in, on their way to a party. Sure, doing lines and sneaking in a drink or two is fun, but what can be better than to stare down at the naked body of the most desirable woman? Pau sneaks in his friends down to the morgue to do exactly that. A little uneasy at first, with all the dead bodies around them, Ivan and Javi are nervy and jittery; the fact that they have been doing lines does not help either. Pau removes the white sheet that covers the corpse of Anna Fritz and the trio gaze down at the nude figure of Anna, and the scene finally transitions to one of the most macabre sex acts known to mankind.

But this is not where you draw in your breath and stop breathing. That moment arrives when we see Pau thrusting away with full vigour at the presumably lifeless corpse of Anna, and she opens her eyes. Now, I urge you to tap into your willing suspension of disbelief and go with the flow of movie, instead of delving into the absurdity of her ludicrous resurrection. Having been caught at the act, the sickening and repulsive deed of necrophilia is now transpired into a full blown case of rape. The movie reaches its climax when the friends are faced with a criminal choice, whether to save the girl, who will identify them as necrophilia practicing rapists or silence her forever, since she is already dead to the world.

The horror in the movie spills over to showcase the primal instinct of protection for man. Having been faced with the prospect of rape charges, the friends discuss if they can go to the grave depth of ending a life, just to silence Anna for their earlier transgressions. Our society is celebutante obsessed, so much so that it transmutes into a provoking decision to violate a young woman’s lifeless body and the cold, helpless stare of Anna immediately catches the audience. Vicens pays a brilliant homage to Uma “The Bride” Thurman from Kill Bill as we witness Anna’s desperation to escape her predicament, without most of her motor functions.

There is a sinful nature to Vicen’s story, but it is never titillating; the visuals continue to be outside of the characters' warped and salacious perspective. There is no grotesque exploitation of the necrophilia, but at the same time, The Corpse of Anna Fritz maintains momentum of a thriller admirably.


Sunday, August 30, 2015

Dark Places

I am one of those few people who didn’t like the Gone Girl movie. It did not do any sort of justice to the brilliant book that Flynn wrote. And yet Flynn herself wrote the screenplay for the Fincher directed movie; I had trouble accepting the film. But moving on, if I thought Gone Girl was bad, then Dark Places turned out to be pathetic. With its direction, with its script, with its acting, everything about the movie screamed a box office bomb. Writer/director Gilles Paquet-Brenner succeeded only in making the already under-rated Gone Girl look more accomplished than it actually is with his Dark Places.

Dark Places is Flynn’s second novel, after Sharp Objects; it is a build up to her best work till date - Gone Girl. The story is well plotted, but it’s no Gone Girl. Based in the mid-west state of Kansas, the story revolves around the tragedy of the Day family. The matriarch of the family, Patty played by the ever brilliant Christina Hendricks, struggles to keep her farm afloat with four young kids without a husband. Her oldest child Ben (Tye Sheridan) is a typical surly teenager who finds it difficult at home with three younger sisters. But this story isn’t about the mother or the brother, this one is about the youngest girl – Libby Day, who survived the massacre of her family when she was only 8 years old. The cold blooded killings bring the little girl into the limelight and she testifies that it is her brother who had killed the entire family. Having already been accused of dabbing in Satanism and child molestation, Ben is convicted of all the murders with circumstantial evidence.


The movie opens with a grown up Libby (Charlize Theron), who is embittered and cynical with life. She is contacted by one Lyle Wirth (Nicholas Hoult) a true crime connoisseur and a member of a club fascinated by true crimes, asking her to make an appearance at their club. A broke Libby agrees to look into the past, with the promise of being paid and the audience is then taken back in time to the 8 year old Libby and that fateful day. The past and present narratives are badly synchronized and I understood what was happening only because I had read the book. The narration was hesitant, and it does not make it easy for the audience to flit in and out of the past and present.

Charlize Theron, was the worst choice for Libby day.  By no means am I doubting her acting capabilities, I mean, I love her. But Libby is supposed to be short, and in the book it is mentioned that she is a mere 5 foot 2 inches. This piece of information plays a crucial role in the climax. And yet a 5 foot 10 inches actress plays the lead. That is just bad casting. What is startling is that the movie has a talented amalgamation of actors, and yet none of them make their mark in the movie. Tye Sheridan as the young Ben is the most stoic expressionless teenager that I have ever seen. All his facial expressions are a mass of confusion. I mean I haven’t come across anyone who doesn’t even blink when slapped.  Chloe Grace Moretz as Ben’s rich spoilt girlfriend Diondra has an enjoyably off the leash portrayal as the high school girl, who does drugs, worships Satan and kills animals as part of ritualistic sacrifices.


There is no characterization in the movie; not one character build ups. Libby’s interior monologues are badly interspaced; they do not bring out the conflicts that exist within her. The narration just jumps out at you and the pacing is badly timed.  Flynn’s intention was to showcase the tough rural mid-western life of the farm owners under the garb of murder mystery, Paquet-Brenner failed on all levels to bring that out. The film almost feels lifeless and stumbles to its end with a particularly badly directed climax in spite of the revelations being hurled at the audience at quite brisk interludes. As a fan of Flynn’s writing, the film is an utter disappointment and I have not one good word to say about Dark Places.

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Jenny's Wedding

June has been the month of Pride for the people in America. It should be after the Supreme Court ruled in favour of gay marriages across all the fifty states. Which is why Mary Agnes Donoghue could not have come up with a better time to release her latest movie – Jenny’s Wedding.  But I doubt even an opportune timing like this will keep it afloat at the box office. With the kind of story line it revolves around, it is already doomed to drown.
Jenny’s Wedding revolves around the eponymous Jenny and her impending wedding of course. Jenny (Katherine Heigl) comes from a loving family with a mother and father played brilliantly by Linda Emond and Tom Wilkinson, an older brother Michael (Matthew Metzger) and a sister Ann (Grace Gummer). With both of her siblings being married with kids, she comes in the line of fire from her parents, especially her mother for still being single. So, the big secret is that Jenny is gay, a fact hat she has hidden expertly from her conservative Christian family. She finally decides to come out to her parents when she decides that she too wants to get married to her beloved partner Kitty, played very meekly by Alexis Bledel. And thus begins the drama.
Linda Emond as the mother is the perfect picture of a Christian conservative who lives in a nice cul de sac while worrying too much about what the neighbours will think. Tom Wilkinson is an adorable father. He cares deeply for his daughter and her happiness, yet always skirts around the issue of her sexuality simply because he has no clue how to deal with it. The revelation of their favourite child’s sexuality is a genuine struggle of conscience for the two of them. They want Jenny to be happy but allowing her to be happy by living her life, they realize that they are unhappy.

There is one particularly emotional scene when Jenny brings Kitty along to the funeral parlour to attend a family acquaintance’s funeral between Jenny and her father. And like a man he avoids talking about the confrontation with his wife, by turning on the radio when she tries to bring up the topic.

Also I realize that the film is titled Jenny’s Wedding, but this does not justify Alexis Bledel’s remarkably short screen space. I mean Jenny is after all getting married to someone. So aren’t her perspectives important to understand how the episode can affect a couple when one has just come out of the closet?! I found Kitty to be a marvelously supportive partner; not only was she okay with her girlfriend still being in the closet with her family, she weathered through all the drama of Jenny and her family when Jenny finally did come out.

The climactic titular sequence is full of grandiose and pomp and like a story with a very predictable curve, ends with a happy ending, like most of Shakespeare’s comedies.

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Masaan: A Celebration of Life & Death and Everything in Between

“Mann Kasturi re, Jag dasturi re,
 Baat hui na puri re…”

Masaan, the Cannes winner is a poignant tale of life in small town India. And it breaks my heart to say that not very many Indians are appreciative of it. While I stand in the queue to get my ticket, I see the flock heading towards Bajrangi Bhaijaan and Baahubali. But I remind myself of Richa Chadda’s words, one of the actresses in the film – “…the more people will see these movies, the more it will help someone like Neeraj to find funding for a Masaan 2.” Masaan tugs at your heart; it is both a tale of heartbreak and hope.

Masaan is set in modern day Varanasi, following two distinct story arcs, only to converge in the end. The film opens with Devi (Richa Chadda), as she prepares to leave her house. She travels a short distance, only to change her attire from salwaar kameez to a saree; we notice the hesitancy and uncertainty in her eyes. And then we see why. She meets up with her boyfriend, Piyush, and they go to a hotel. It becomes abundantly clear to the audience now, that under the guise of being a married couple, the two get ready for their first sexual counter, which is full of shyness and awkwardness. But things take a turn for the worse when they are caught by the police in the act. Thus begins the bitter tale of moral policing by the law keepers, and blackmail. They are more than willing to take advantage of the public sense of disgrace and shame that surrounds premarital sex. Devi’s father, played brilliantly by Sanjay Mishra who is a retired Sanskrit professor is called to the police station. He gets his daughter back if he pays the bail money; he will get his daughter back with her reputation untarnished if he agrees to pay an addition 3 lakhs, over the course of three months to the police.
Elsewhere, Deepak (Vicky Kaushal), a Dom (one who cremates corpses) meets Shaalu (Shweta Tripathy) and falls in love with her. Their romance blooms over Facebook chats, red balloons let lose in the sky, quiet dates at restaurants and sneaky bike rides. But underneath the innocence of first love, lies the ugly reality of caste. Deepak and Shaalu belong to two different castes; even in the 21st century it plays a very big role in the lives of all Indians.

The protagonists in both the story arcs represent the young generation who refuse to be constricted by the social barriers. They are independent, strong, defiant, and surprisingly brave for the world they belong to. Devi has no qualms of admitting to the police that she was in the room to quench her curiosity about sex; she shouts out at her father “Koi kandh main e nehin machaii!!” (I haven’t done anything wrong) And in the same way Shaalu reassures Deepak, when she gets to know of his heritage that they will run away from home to be together, if the need arises.

Masaan is uncluttered and it takes the audience back to remembering what it is like to be in love for the very first time. Debutants Vicky Kaushal and Shweta Tripathy is a spontaneous couple; their romance is a snapshot of minimalism, candour and clumsiness that only a small town romance can capture. Richa Chadda as Devi is strangely a very subdued character from her previous characters in Gangs of Wasseypur and Fukrey. But there was a sense of monotony in her acting throughout the movie; one expects a little more guts. Her emotions at times felt too controlled and stoic. However it is the silence between the father-daughter that speak volumes.

It is symbolic that the characters from the two arcs cross path at the Sangam (the confluence of the three rivers in Allahabad). Masaan is a brilliant directorial debut by Neeraj Ghaywan; it is poetic and is concerned with loss as much it is with love. Through Avinash Arun, the cinematographer we are shown what a charm Varanasi is. Several crucial moments spin around the Ganga, and is beautifully shot. They linger in our memory like the flames dying slowly in the cremation grounds where so much of Masaan unwinds.

Saturday, July 25, 2015

Only Lovers Left Alive

The White Witch and Loki are a centuries old vampire couple in Jim Jarmusch’s vampire drama Only Lovers Left Alive. Isn’t that a fun pairing? It was the casting that caught my attention because I always steer clear of the vampire film genre. I abhor it with much passion and believe that it is a crime for the vampire film genre to be even a genre. But Only Lovers Left Alive is not just a vampire film, it is a vampire art movie.


Adam (Tom Hiddleston) and Eve (Tilda Swinton) live half a world apart but are still very much in love with each other. They also happen to be vampires and have lived through the centuries; they look tired having survived all of the atrocities that mankind has unleashed upon itself. They survive because they have to survive, and see no other way. Adam is a reclusive musician having an affinity for musical instruments, living in a dilapidated house in Detroit. He has two contacts in the human world – Ian (Anton Yelchin), whom he calls a zombie and a doctor at the local hospital who supplies him with pure O negative blood. Adam’s name for the humankind is his personal joke because he believes that even though men are the actual living creatures, they are not really alive, their souls having been tarnished because of greed, power, wealth, wars, corruption, but mostly because of their squandered ability to appreciate art. Eve (Tilda Swinton), his one big true love arrives from Tangier comes to check up on him when she senses a feeling of resignation and dejection over the phone. Yes, vampires use the phone, a i-Phone at that too. Adam has lost faith in mankind, he feels that they have no future. He asks Eve in a weary tone “Has the water wars started yet, or is it still oil?”, when the two of them sit discussing the finer points of the composition of blood and the percentage of water that engulfs our planet. They make love, but it is not a lustful, violent love where it is gory and bloody, it is a sensual love; they make art.

Adam and Eve are artists; even when they are not Adam and Eve they choose to be artists through Stephen Dedalus and Daiy Buchanan. They are too aristocratic to be mundane, they are muses and critics of the ideals. Navigating the 21st century is not an easy task, especially when you have lived through the centuries and navigated through the worst. But blood popsicles?! That is a novel idea. And that is how Eve tries to cheer up Adam, when he becomes suicidal. The fact that contaminated blood affects the vampires and makes them sick is a fun concept indeed. This is why they refer to the O negative as “the Good Stuff”; it gives them a high, it makes them euphoric. Their real appetite, however, is for culture. Nothing passes the centuries better than a good read or a great tune. Theirs is an affectionate reunion consummated through vinyl listening parties, chatty chess matches, and gorgeous, nighttime tours of a ghost-town Detroit.

Only Lovers Left Alive is a slow paced movie, progressing through with so much languor that it might seem that it is gliding. It is mostly a sumptuously narcotised atmosphere, and the haunting eerie soundtrack carries the movie on its back. Adam and Eve have wit, warmth and a certain raffish flamboyance that makes them oddly endearing. They are undoubtedly seductive, and anyone who shares their musical, literary and cinematic interests will luxuriate in their company.

Only Lovers Left Alive is full of rare and gorgeous images and sounds, heavy with wistful sighs and sprinkled with wry, knowing jokes — but it is also thin and pale, and is too afraid of daylight; the entire movie takes place at night. It is all atmosphere and attitude, as evanescent as a dream; it brings about a sense of nostalgia and even connoisseurship at one level. Adam and Eve showcase that throughout the centuries, love is the only true thing that exists.

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Wild



Reese Witherspoon, who will always be a southern belle to me tries to reinvent herself as an ex addict on the path of self-discovery. I have a little problem associating Witherspoon with a junkie, even more so when she portrays the reckless kind. In order to cope with her mother’s untimely death to cancer, Cheryl Strayed portrayed by Witherspoon, indulges in reckless behaviour. This impulsive behavior involves sex with random strangers, addiction to heroin, multiple affairs, which ultimately end her marriage to a rather sweet and caring guy – Paul. Based on the popular memoir by Cheryl Strayed, Wild is Strayed’s attempt at redemption, her endeavor for a second chance at life. 

Wild offered me nothing new, that Into the Wild had not previously offered ; Into the Wild will always be one of my favourite movies of all times.  Strayed has not done anything that Christopher McCandless had not previously achieved. I am more sympathetic towards McCandless’s journey in his endeavor “to measure himself at least once, to find himself at least once in the most ancient of human conditions…” than with Strayed’s journey of salvation and introspection. 

Wild is just one long walk, along the Pacific Crest Trail, interlaced with Cheryl’s back story in the form of hallucinations. Witherspoon as Cheryl packs a comic image as a hiker who has set out to walk a trail of more than four thousand kilometres. Lugging a backpack that is heavier than her, Cheryl barely makes it to the first five miles of the trail across the Mojave Desert.  As it turns out, her difficulties have just begun; setting up tent is another ordeal thereafter which she realizes that she has carried the wrong lighter fluid for the stove. But Cheryl has spunk and she decides to battle it out. She grows accustomed to the grueling walk and meets a host of people during her walk – a solo female hiker like herself, a pair of lecherous hunters, a trio of college students, another solo male hiker, a grandmother and her little grandson. We can only hope that these encounters leave Cheryl a different person. 

Wild is definitely a treat for the audience’s eyes. Yves Bélanger’s cinematography captures the authentic, alluring colours and panorama of the landscapes across the Trail. Cheryl is a keen reader as the audience figures out when she fills the log books with inspirational quotes by Emily Dickinson, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Adrienne Rich and James A. Michener.  Wild seamlessly portrays the monotonous and tedious nature of enduring a journey like this. But it also reminds you that it will be lonely, full of fatigue, often blurring the reality and ultimately inflict you with a rare and exotic kind of alienation.

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Broken Horses: A Tale of Brothers. A Trail of Blood.



I have never been a fan of Bollywood and I have always been vocal about that fact. Yes, I hail from the land of Bollywood but that doesn’t mean that I have to like it. As a child my father made sure that I came across no Hindi movies which he did not approve of; I grew up with the notion that only the naughty kids watch Hindi movies, and I wasn’t a naughty kid. But then I grew up and formed a mind of own and found that not all the movies in Bollywood involved singing and dancing around trees; some were actually good, talking about social issues, fighting for them and making the people aware, as should be the prerogative of a film.

Vidhu Vinod Chopra is famed Bollywood director and producer and I have seen none of his movies. But his Hollywood debut with Broken Horses at the age of 62 caught my eye. Because I am a sucker for someone who has struggled to reach the peak. Very few Indians have dared what Chopra has dared – an entire production in the land of Hollywood, with the entire cast and team from the international film community. 

Broken Horses is a tale of two orphan brothers, with the older one growing up to be on the wrong side of the law. I am assured by everyone that the movie is nothing more than an English remake of Chopra’s cult movie Parinda, which was India’s official entry for the Oscars in 1990. This is what happens when you don’t watch Bollywood movies; I haven’t seen Parinda which is why I was unaware of the plot and went to watch the movie with no expectations of Chopra’s brilliance. Set in the volatile Texas- Mexico border, Chopra attempts to make a modern day western with Broken Horses. 

The movie opens with the assassination of the border town’s sheriff, who is Buddy (Chris Marquette) and Jakey’s (Anton Yelchin) father. Fast forward to fifteen years, Buddy has stayed back and is now a hired kill for the local mob boss Julius Hench (Victor D’ Onofrio) while Jakey has moved to New York and is an established violinist. Jakey is engaged to be married to Vittoria (Maria Valverde) when Buddy calls him one day and tells him that Jakey will have to come home to see his wedding present. Though hesitant about going back home, Jakey eventually decides to go back, guilt ridden for having abandoned his sibling. Buddy’s wedding present turns out to be a stunning lakeside ranch. Immersed in further guilt, Jakey decides to visit his old music teacher and soon becomes enmeshed in the town’s violence when he is forced to kill one of Hench’s goons in self-defense. 

The story of the reunion of two estranged brothers, representing the two sides of good and evil has been a Bollywood fixture for a very long time. Sure the drama is silly and soppy and Bollywood veterans say that it is a poor caricature of Chopra’s Parinda, but I truly appreciate the effort and amount of courage that Chopra took to undertake such a magnanimous venture. There is no less melodramatic scenes in Broken Horses than you will find in a Bollywood movie, but truth be told I have seen far worse Hollywood movies. 

Broken Horses received mostly seething reviews and Hollywoodland wrote it off for being too over-dramatic and simmering with too much Bollywood flavor. Even though I could guess where the action was headed for, I enjoyed the movie.  Chopra has his own vision of a western and he sticks to it in spite of living in the twenty first century.  Despite the use of the modern concepts in the form of smartphones and border patrol, this western feels timeless with the set design echoing the golden age of Hollywood westerns. The long shots of this small border town against the sun set was exhilarating, bringing freshness to the movie. In a world where the macabre and the gory is juxtaposed with everyday living, I feel that we sometimes need to go back to the basics and remind ourselves, through silly, melodramatic movies that there is still love and goodness in the world.

Friday, June 19, 2015

Wild Tales



A multi-story feature film is not a very popular genre among cine lovers. For one, having to conclude one story and then start with another story in the very next frame, interrupts the often pensive and illusory effect of the movie. And the other obvious reason is the unevenness that seeps into the film: some stories will always be better than the others, especially if multiple film makers are involved in the project. Despite these inherent drawbacks of the multi-story feature film genre, Wild Tales packs a surprise punch and comes across as a bizarre revelation.

Wild Tales is a ludicrous anthology of six stories revolving around the central theme of violence and vengeance. It is a comic take on human behavior at its extreme. Director Damian Szifron shows the audience that it is a mad, mad world we live in where if we are pushed a little or close to the edge, we are all too eager to do the worst to other.  This black comedy is filled with cynicism, with its brilliance lying in its combination of excess violence and ordinary scenarios. The violence is showcased in such a manner that even though extreme, it borders on being preposterous and outrageous. Having only one commonality, which is the theme, Szifrom says that the six stories are “the undeniable pleasure of losing control.”

Each of the stories begins mundanely until they take a Roald Dahl-ish twist which unsettles the audience. The first story is about an unexpected reunion on an airplane. Midflight, everyone on the plane realizes that everyone on board has one common acquaintance: ‘Pastarnak’, as is the name of the segment. The look of anxiety and shock of all the passengers when the airhostess announces that the co pilot is named Paternek and has locked himself in the cockpit is both funny and scary at the same time.

The next story –‘The Rats’ raises a very practical question: Once rat poison is past its expiry date, does it become more or less potent? The backdrop of this dilemma is shown to be a young woman’s desire to see her father’s oppressor punished when he walks into the diner she works at. While at one hand she wants to see the corrupt official who drove her father to suicide suffer, but at the same time she is aware of the consequence of her desire.

‘Road to Hell’ is a masterful combination of road rage and class conflict.  When a snazzy corporate fellow in his new Audi sports car overtakes a country driver in his old pick up, what ensues is mindless chaos and mayhem. 

The next two stories – ‘Little Bomb’ and ‘The Proposal’ is soaked in social satire where Szifron showcases indignation at the complacency and unresponsiveness of Argentina’s ruling classes. Simon Fischer a law abiding demolition expert vows to extract appropriate revenge when his car is towed and he is forced to pay both a fine and some more to release his car even though the space was not marked as tow away zone. ‘The Proposal’ is every rich parents’ nightmare. The parents are woken up in the middle of the night by a sobbing son, who has been drinking and has hit a pregnant woman and run from the scene. Enter the family lawyer, who hatches a plan with the father to have the family gardener take blame for the crime in return for half a million dollars. The father agrees, until he is asked by the lawyer, the prosecutor and the other investigators to be given pay offs as well. As an expert negotiator, the father manages not to get swindled by the corrupt officials while at the same time keeping his son from going to prison.
Like all Shakespeare’s comedies, the last story of Wild Tales involves a wedding. The wedding becomes a sexual transgression and a tale of vengeance when the bride gets to know that the groom had slept with a wedding guest. It is a story of love and jealousy that blows up the wedding. 

The opening credits are rolled out with a series of images of wild animals – a hawk, a bear, a tiger. The implication is that the audience will see the grizzly nature of man and that within every man resides a beast. But animals aren’t interested in vengeance; it is only humans who strive for such egomaniacal savagery.