Wild Tales Blu-ray Review
I usually make it a point to watch all the movies that are nominated for Best Picture when the Oscars roll around. I do the same for a few other categories like best short, documentary, and animated feature. I sure I’m not the only one to do this, but once the best foreign language film category pops up, I’m drawing a blank. I know off the top of my head that the best movie for 2014 was BIRDMAN. As for best foreign language movie…get back to me on that one. One of those movies up for nomination, but surprisingly not winning, was WILD TALES. The other movie must have been pretty darn good because this one was superb.
WILD TALES is an anthology film without a wrap around the story that brings everything together. If anything, it’s like six short movies brought together for your viewing pleasure. Is there a link in all of these? That’s a good question. They’re all dark, humorous, and enjoyable, but it doesn’t feel like there’s a real overarching theme that brings it all home. As you’ll learn if you watch one of the bonus features though, the director says it’s all about, “The pleasure of losing control.”
Right out of the gate, WILD TALES goes straight for the jugular, and not literally. An unsuspecting group of people on a plane quickly learn that they aren’t all there by chance and that someone has brought them there. What follows next is sure to upset anyone who lost a loved on 9/11, but sure to illicit a weird sense of joy for everyone else. Maybe even a laugh. But that’s what WILD TALES does best. Its darkest is at the beginning, but in that moment, it finds pure vengeful delight for one character.
But there are still plenty of other stories that make up this dark delight. We have a waitress contemplating whether or not to poison a loan shark. In another, two men take road rage to an extreme. Then there’s the quibbling amongst family about what to do with a teenager who in a hit-and-run. Then the movie ends with the short revolving around a relationship that quickly falls apart and is quickly built back up within the time span of “I do,” to the wedding after party. If anything, that short is kind of sweet, despite the violent nature it unleashes.
I purposely skipped my favorite segment which is about a demolitions expert. No he doesn’t blow up his place of work, but instead gets his own retribution against a bothersome tow company. It’s also one of the few segments where death is not inevitable like in other segments. Sure there’s an explosion, the possibility of bodily harm, and the possibility of PTSD, but in essence, it’s about sticking it to the ‘man’. The ‘man’ just happens to be a tow company that seemingly finds the most inopportune time to tow the vehicle of a demolitions expert.
There’s so much to love about this movie and it’s odd how much of it works. I have a sneaking suspicion that anyone else who would try making this, would just end up with a disjointed mess. Despite the vast differences between each bit, there seems to be an unspoken flow that connects each story. WILD TALES is very ambiguous with what it wants to do. Anthologies have been done before, and very well, and WILD TALES should really consider itself one of the best. It’s a real treat from start to finish. It speaks a very human idea, that sometimes it’s just fun to let go and smash, maim, or last out, despite the pacifism that lies in all of us regular folk who aren’t psychopaths. WILD TALES finds humor and humanity in those moments.
Video: (1080p Widescreen 2:39:1) This is a high quality presentation. Everything from scenic desert landscapes to a wedding party come through crystal clear.
Audio: (Spanish DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1) The soundtrack comes through beautifully and then drops magnificently below dialogue, creating a harmonious mix.
Wild Shooting: Creating the Film (24:58): This is a tightly crafted behind the scenes feature that includes the director, cast, crew, and others discussing nearly every question you might have about the movie. They discuss the themes, the idea, the creation, the overarching plot and the small plots within the movie.
An Evening at the Toronto International Film Festival with Damian Szifron (6:46): This is an interesting bit since it features the director. He switches from Spanish to English, but when he speaks in Spanish, he has a translator. This follows the director as he fields questions after a screening.