Wild Tales (Relatos Salvajes)
This is the best comedy I’ve seen in a long time. Maybe the best movie I’ve seen this year, although I’m not ready to put it above Inherent Vice just yet. It’s an anthology film apparently, which is a term I didn’t know until I started reading about Wild Tales. Great use of Advance & Continue, which is a term that Keith Johnstone writes about in Impro for Storytellers.
The stories push just far enough in one direction before coming back in the other (sometimes literally, like in the highway vignette). It’s dark and light and every story starts mostly in a light place before going to a really intense or dark place. But it’s fucking hilarious throughout; I can’t remember the last time I was in a theater where people were laughing so much. Actually I do remember and it was Almodevar’s I’m So Excited (Los Amantes Pasjeros), which is a movie that nobody I’ve ever met has seen and I just looked up on IMDB and has a rating of 5.6 so I don’t know what that’s about, that movie was really funny.
Anyway, what was I talking about. Oh, Wild Tales. One thing I loved was how high the stakes were in every vignette. It was mostly about normal people behaving in extreme circumstances or escalating to extreme circumstances, but it never felt forced or unbelievable. And the writing and acting was so rich that even when it got serious or deadly, the human behavior was so real or honest that it was hilarious. At least that’s what I thought. The kind of movie I wish I had written. And the final vignette, the wedding scene, was really brilliantly written, acted and directed. Little touches like the cook in the background telling his buddies about what happened on the roof were so good.
Nice play on words too — “salvajes” means wild but it also means savage, something that gets lost in translation.