Wild Tales (film)  

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"Relatos salvajes combines the best of cinema with the best of the short story tradition." --Sholem Stein

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Wild Tales (Relatos salvajes) is a 2014 Argentine-Spanish black comedy anthology film composed of six standalone shorts, all written and directed by Damián Szifron, united by a common theme of violence and vengeance.

The film's musical score was composed by Gustavo Santaolalla.

Despite the clear common theme of violence and vengeance, what connects the stories, according to the director, is "the fuzzy boundary that separates civilization from barbarism, the vertigo of losing your temper, and the undeniable pleasure of losing control".

Richard Corliss compared the film to an Ambrose Bierce or Roald Dahl story.

Contents

Plot

The film is composed of six short segments: "Pasternak", "Las ratas" ("The Rats"), "El más fuerte" ("The Strongest"), "Bombita" ("Little Bomb"), "La propuesta" ("The Proposal"), and "Hasta que la muerte nos separe" ("Till Death Do Us Part"). In the American localisation, the third and the fifth had their names changed to "Road to Hell" and "The Bill".

"Pasternak"

Two passengers on an airplane start a conversation and discover they both know a man named Pasternak: the woman (María Marull) is his ex-girlfriend, and the man (Darío Grandinetti) is a music critic who savagely reviewed his work. Several other passengers speak up and claim to know Pasternak as well. In fact, everyone on the flight is somehow connected to Pasternak, and all of their relationships with him ended negatively. A flight attendant reveals that Pasternak is the plane's cabin chief and has locked himself inside the cockpit. Amidst the panic, Pasternak crashes the plane into his parents' house.

"Las ratas"

A loan shark (César Bordón) is the only customer at a small restaurant by a highway. He treats the waitress (Julieta Zylberberg) very poorly when ordering his food. She recognizes him as the man who, years before, ruined her family and caused her father's untimely death. The cook (Rita Cortese), offers to mix rat poison into the man's food. The waitress refuses the cook's offer, but unbeknownst to her the cook adds the poison anyway. When the waitress finds out, she does not take the food away from the man.

The man's teenage son arrives and begins to share his father's meal. Feeling guilty that the boy might eat the poison, the waitress tries to take the plate away. The man attacks her after she throws food in his face, but the cook kills him with a chef's knife. The last scene depicts the son getting medical treatment from a responding ambulance while the waitress sits next to him. Meanwhile, the cook is arrested and driven away in a police car.

"El más fuerte"

Diego (Leonardo Sbaraglia) is driving through the desert and tries to overtake a slower, older car that consistently blocks his path. When he finally passes, he insults the other driver, Mario (Walter Donado). Further up the road, Diego gets a flat tire, while Mario catches up and takes his revenge. He parks his car in front of Diego's, smashes his windshield, and then defecates and urinates on it. Just as Mario is about to leave, Diego pushes him and his car into the river and drives off.

Fearing retribution from Mario, Diego soon returns to run Mario down, but loses control and crashes into the river. Mario enters Diego's car through the trunk, and both men start to fight. Mario leaves Diego being strangled by a seat belt around his neck. He then rips off a piece of his shirt, lights it on fire and places it in the gas tank in an attempt to incinerate the car, but Diego grabs him and prevents him from escaping. As the car explodes, the tow truck driver (called by Diego) finally arrives. The police later discover the two charred bodies holding onto each other and mistake them for lovers who died in a crime of passion.

"Bombita"

Simón Fischer (Ricardo Darín), a demolition expert, picks up a cake for his daughter's birthday party and discovers that his car has been towed. He goes to the towed-car lot and argues with an employee to no avail, insisting that there were no signs of a no-parking zone. He grudgingly pays the towing fee and misses his daughter's party. The next day, when Simón is refused a refund for the fee at the DMV, he attacks the glass partition and is arrested. The story makes the news and Fischer's company fires him. His wife (Nancy Dupláa) seeks a divorce and sole custody of their daughter.

After Fischer applies unsuccessfully for another job, he discovers that his car has been towed again. He retrieves the car and packs it with explosives in a tow zone. After it is towed again, he detonates the explosives, destroying the towing office with no casualties. Fischer is imprisoned and becomes a local hero, with calls on social media for his release. His wife and daughter visit him in prison for his birthday, bringing him a cake in the form of a tow truck.

"La propuesta"

A teenager, in his father's car, arrives home after committing a hit-and-run on a pregnant woman. The woman and her child are reported dead on the local news, and her husband swears vengeance. The driver's parents (Oscar Martínez and María Onetto) form a plan with his lawyer (Osmar Núñez) to have their groundskeeper José (Germán de Silva) take the blame for half a million dollars. However, the local prosecutor (Diego Velázquez) sees through the scheme because the car's mirrors were not adjusted for the caretaker's line of sight.

The lawyer negotiates to include the prosecutor in the deal for more money, the caretaker asks for an apartment along with his money, and the prosecutor asks for an additional payment to pay off the police. However, the guilty son says that he wants to confess to the crowd gathered outside the house. Frustrated, the father calls off the deal, telling his son to confess. The lawyer renegotiates and the father agrees on a lower price. As José is taken away by the police, the dead woman's husband strikes him repeatedly on the head with a hammer.

"Hasta que la muerte nos separe"

At a Jewish wedding party, the bride, Romina (Érica Rivas), discovers that her groom, Ariel (Diego Gentile), has cheated on her with one of the guests. She confronts him as they dance in front of everyone, and runs off in distress to the roof, where a kitchen worker comforts her. Ariel discovers Romina having sex with the worker. She vindictively announces to him that she will sleep with every man who shows her interest, and take him for all he is worth if he tries to divorce her, or when he dies. They return to the party and continue the festivities.

Romina pulls the woman Ariel slept with onto the dance floor, spins her around, and slams her into a mirror. She insists that the photographer film Ariel and his mother weeping, declaring that she will show it at a future wedding. Ariel's mother attacks Romina but is pulled off by her husband and Romina's father; Romina collapses out of sheer emotion. Ariel approaches Romina and extends a hand. They dance, kiss, and begin to have sex by the cake as the guests leave.

See also




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