Monday, March 30, 2015
Written and directed by Damian Szifron, Relatos Salvajes (Wild Tales) is a film with six different stories that relates to violence and vengeance where various people deal with implications of these events and themselves. The film is presented in an anthology-film style as it relates to six different stories about different people and their reaction to others where they use violence to deal with these situations. Starring Ricardo Darin, Oscar Martinez, Leonardo Sbaraglia, Erica Rivas, Rita Cortese, Julieta Zylberberg, and Dario Grandinetti. Relatos Salvajes is an absolutely insane and exhilarating film from Damian Szifron.
The film revolves six different stories of revenge and violence all taking place in Argentina as it plays into the lives of people and how they react or deal with the situations. These stories involve people in an airplane, a waitress dealing with a customer she knows and loathes, two men killing each other on the road, a demolition man having the worst moment of his life, a family undone by tragedy, and a wedding day gone horribly wrong. Though none of these stories are connected through its characters, they are connected by the same theme of vengeance and violence as Damian Szifron’s screenplay explores these ideas with elements of black comedy as well as tragedy. All of which plays into the lives of these characters and the dilemma they’re in about how to react.
Szifron’s direction is very stylish in not just the different tone he presents for each story but also in the fact that they do share similar visual traits. Notably in some of the close-ups, zoom shots, and other compositions ranging from medium to wide shots. There’s moments of intimacy in the segments in the plane as well as the family drama while there’s some very offbeat moments involving the demolition man, the two men on the road, and the sequence at the roadside café. Some of it plays into elements of suspense while some of the elements of violence range from graphic to darkly comical. Szifron’s approach to humor is very offbeat into not just some the craziness of these situations but also in how some of these characters use vengeance to either help themselves or to just create more trouble. Overall, Szifron creates a film that lives up to its namesake and a whole lot more.
Cinematographer Javier Julia does amazing work with the film‘s cinematography from some of the film‘s daytime exterior scenes in the desert and some of the countryside to some unique nighttime interior/exterior lighting scenes to help set some moods for some of the darker stories. Editors Damian Szifron and Pablo Barbieri Carrera do brilliant work with the editing as it has elements of style from jump-cuts to other stylistic rhythmic cuts to play into the humor and suspense while ending each segment with a simple cut to black. Production designer Maria Clara Notari does excellent work with the different set pieces to give each segment a different look to play into the environment of its characters.
Costume designer Ruth Fischerman does nice work with the costumes as the clothes range from casual to more posh-based clothes for the family-drama segment and the wedding segment. Sound designer Jose Luis Diaz does superb work with the sound from the different textures of sound in the many segments including the sounds of explosions in the demolition man segment. The film’s music by Gustavo Santaolalla is fantastic for its different array of music from eerie orchestral music to somber acoustic-based pieces as well as some brooding electronic pieces as the soundtrack includes bits of classical, dance, and pop music.
The casting by Javier Braier is incredible for the massive ensemble that appears in the film. For the film’s first segment in the plane, there’s brilliant performances from Dario Grandinetti as a music critic, Maria Marull as a model, and Monica Villa as a schoolteacher who are all connected for some strange reason. For the roadside café sequence, there’s superb performances from Rita Cortese as the cook, Julieta Zylberberg as the waitress with a grudge towards the customer, and Cesar Bordon as the customer with a dark and seedy past. For the road segment, there’s amazing performances from Leonardo Sbaraglia as the rich man and Walter Donado as the poor man who both fight following some insults that leads to total mayhem.
For the demolition man segment, Ricardo Darin is excellent as a man whose life goes into ruins by a series of unfortunate incidents while Nancy Duplaa is terrific as his wife who becomes alienated by his troubles. In the dramatic sequence, there’s fantastic performances from Oscar Martinez as the millionaire Mauricio, Maria Onetta as his wife, Osmar Nunez as their lawyer, Diego Velazquez as the prosecutor, and German de Silva as a groundskeeper who is willing to help them in their troubles. For the wedding segment, there’s marvelous performances from Erica Rivas and Diego Gentile in their respective roles as the bride and groom where one of whom would carry a secret that would make the wedding reception a night in hell.
Relatos Salvajes is a phenomenal film from Damian Szifron. Armed with a great cast and a provocative take on the ideas of violence and vengeance, the film is truly an off-the-wall film that isn’t afraid to go bonkers as well as extreme and dark places. Even if delves into black comedy that will make some very uncomfortable. In the end, Relatos Salvajes is a remarkable film from Damian Szifron.
© thevoid99 2015