A compendium movie of six macabre stories from Argentina, Wild Tales (15) **** exhibits great flair from its director Damian Szifron and shows a society teetering on the brink.
It opens with a blackly comic tale of the unexpected, where passengers on a plane – music critic, fashion model, school teacher, psychiatrist – slowly realise they’re all connected to a certain Gabriel Pasternak… who’s now flying the aircraft.
This thumbnail is the shortest but it sets up the tone of odd coincidences in the other, unconnected stories. One of them stars the fine Argentinian actor Ricardo Darin, as an explosives engineer driven mad by the city’s over-zealous tow-away trucks and parking regulations. “You blame society for everything, never yourself,” shouts his wife, suggesting Szifron’s film is about the collective guilt for the precarious state of the nation.
In another tale, a smart city driver on a country road flips a rude gesture to a truck driving local as he overtakes him. A few miles on, the city slicker gets a flat tyre and. while he’s fixing it, the truck driver catches him up and takes revenge.
Elsewhere a bride takes revenge on her cheating groom at a big wedding and a millionaire attempts to protect his son by bribing the gardener (and the state prosecutor) to cover up a hit-and-run murder.
This is caustic, funny stuff from a new south American talent with a wicked wit and a bold cinematic eye.