With 179,696 votes on IMDb, Wild Tales currently enjoys a score of 8.1.
Six short stories that explore the extremities of human behavior involving people in distress.
Wild Tales is an Argentinian anthology movie containing six short stories revolving around a theme of revenge and it is a really fantastic piece of compelling cinema. It blends tension with hilarity and the time passes quickly when you sit down to watch it.
With six entirely independent plots Wild Tales strings along its theme quickly and suddenly – even the slow burners resolve quickly and satisfyingly. What makes the film even more impressive then, is that each story feels so absolutely different while also capturing that overarching theme so well – it’s almost like sitting down for a themed movie night with six different flicks to get through, but much less fatigue-inducing.
As typical of the black comedy genre, Wild Tales really had to be well written to elicit humour out of serious, tense moments and it does that surprisingly well. Something about the uneasy bursts of comedy that are classic for these types of movies is able to make me roar with laughter far more than any straight-up comedy – it’s like a feeling of relief that what you’re watching is made with good intentions to entertain, and not just horrify.
I think Wild Tales is truly a movie you have to experience first-hand, one of those gems that keeps you guessing and never provides you with a disappointing conclusion. I seriously enjoyed going into it with only the premise in my mind and I don’t want these things to be spoiled for anyone, so I’ll just briefly go over each story.
Pasternak is the first story, and it’s high on the camp humour and absurdity. It’s a short one and it’s a brilliant opener to the themes of revenge and violence that so permeate the rest of the runtime. Las ratas comes next and is another relatively short one. The setup in this one presents itself immediately and it’s a wonderful example of how to use tension.
El más fuerte is the third one and this is when the stories start to get a bit longer. This one is pure violence, petty and filthy at that. There’s a lot more action than dialogue here and it’s a masterclass in conveying a character’s personality and mindset through actions. Bombita is probably the only slow burner of the lot and truly encapsulates the idea of ‘pushing someone to the very brink’ that a lot of the stories explore to varying degrees. The main character really has a ‘death of a thousand cuts’ and the payoff, while extremely obvious and highly telegraphed, is a thrill to witness nonetheless.
La propuesta is the penultimate story and seems like rather the odd one out. It deals with the ease with which wealthy people can be corrupted and value people place on their own family. It brings up some powerful hypotheticals that are interesting to ponder, and lulls us into a sense of security towards the end. A false sense of security, at that. I really liked this one, as it felt chaotic and serves as a damning indictment to human greed and yes, yet again, the extremities of the human capacity for revenge.
Hasta que la muerte nos separe is the final story and quite the fitting end. Simply put, it takes place over the worst wedding since that one that happened in Game of Thrones. With a far more ‘human’ experience of rage and a thirst for revenge than the other stories but no less gore (this might actually be the bloodiest story, absurdly), this story is potentially the most relatable of all six. The absolute roller coaster of emotions that the two leads here experience are hard to keep up with and considering the booziness of the night I think it may have been intentional. I think ending the movie on this was a very good idea, as going from this story’s ending to any other would have been… jarring. Please, just watch it to see why.
Overall, I think my favourite of the stories is Pasternak simply due to how hilarious it is. It’s styled as a thriller and as the stakes rise and the penny drops the humour flows out so effortlessly and with precision timing. By the time you’ve recovered from the last humorous revelation they’ve dropped another funny bomb on you. And all within about ten minutes or so? It’s utterly fantastic writing and is worth the price of admission alone.
Verdict: Hot men, great black humour, never feels boring. You won’t regret it.