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A Comedy Depicting the Savage Side of Human Nature     
By Iride Aparicio

“Hasta que la Muerte nos separe” (Until death do us part) shown by the jealous Romina, (ERICA RIVAS) on her wedding day

SAN JOSÉ, CA. Demonstrating his complete mastery in script writing and Directing,  Argentinian  DAMIAN SZIFRÓN created in “RELATOS SALVAJES,” a dark comedy in six segments, each one of them, a complete short story that shows the audience the “Savage Side” of human nature. The stories are so unbelievable wild, that instead of shocking the audience, they make it laugh.

Some American film reviewers who reviewed the film, wrote that the premise, unifying the six segments,  is “intolerable stress leads to revenge.” However, if one listens to the dialogue of the movie in Spanish, its original language, it becomes clear that the characters’ motivation in each one of the  segments was not revenge, (The young driver did not kill the pregnant woman, out of revenge, it was an accident) it is “rage.”  Every segment shows the audience the “savage side” that the characters managed to  kept under control, until they got angry. When they did, anger made them lose control of  themselves, and become  “Salvajes” (savages)  a noun that in Spanish defines a person capable of doing dreadful deeds. And because dreadful deeds is what each character do in each one of these  films, their motivation must be “rage.” 

In “Pasternak”  (the character we never see) his “rage” against the teacher that mocked him in class, the girl who left him for somebody else, and the critic who criticized his work, was kept controlled  for many years. But the “rage” that probably began during his childhood when he was living at home with his parents, finally built up to the point that he lost control of his emotions and did the savage act he did.

In “Bombita” (small bomb) It is the three frustrating parking incidents in which Simon states to the VTA officer that “The curb was not painted yellow”  (which was not) that builds up the “rage”  in the calm demolition engineer, (represented by RICARDO DARIN, a wonderful movie star from Argentina). Simon knows that he is right, but when nobody listens to him, the unfairness of the crooked transportation system that refuses to lift a finger to resolve his problem leads him, literarily, to explode.

And there is the unforgettable and gross segment showing the extreme of  “Road rage.” of Mario, a common man whose car is old, and Diego, the rich man who drives a new and expensive car. “El mas Fuerte,” (The strongest one) does not show who was the stronger man. It ends with two charred bodies inside Mario’s car, and a  policeman declaring their death: “a crime of passion.”

And there is  “rage” for justice in Las Rats (The Rats) on the part of the cook, who has to prepare a meal for  a “customer” (she considers a "rat")  because he was the man who disgraced her young waitress’ when he  repossessed her house inducing her father to commit suicide.

Experiencing a different type of rage: is the young Sebastian, in “La Propuesta,” (The proposal) who maybe to cool down, goes around the city driving like a maniac at night in his father’s car. Sadly, when he gets in trouble, he refuses to face the consequences. So, adding to  Sebastian’s rage, is now the rage of Mauricio Pereyra Hamilton, his  millionaire father’ when he becomes aware of the greed of his lawyer, the greed of the city’s Civic Servants and even the greed of his caretaker who now demands a million dollars to go to jail.


And at the end, the rage with the most funny consequences is the rage that almost every woman can identify with: the rage provoked by jealousy,  in “Hasta que la Muerte nos separe” (Until death do us part) shown by Romina, (ERICA RIVAS) on her wedding day.  How she demonstrates her rage, brakes all conventions. She smiles, when she is crying. When she tosses her bridal bouquet, she includes her wedding cake. Feeling despondent, she tries to kill herself, Feeling hurt, she makes love to a hotel worker. On that day, Romina follows and brakes all the conventions of her elegant Jewish wedding. and as we laugh, while dancing, she sends her rival to the hospital.

In his direction of WILD TALES, Writer/Director SZIFRÓN got seamless acting from all the actors. In his writing, stories that are structured, with beginning middle and end, and in his dialogue, conversations that sounds natural. In his Cinematography, Julià, used his close ups shots his medium shots and his long shots effectively. This is a film that attracts our attention  from beginning to end. In time, this Oscar® nominated film will become a comedy classic.

CAST:  Ricardo Darin as Simon Fisher Leonardo Sbaraglia, as Diego Dario Grandinetti as Salgado Erica Rivas as Romina  Nancy Duplàs as Victoria, Maria Onetto as Helena Rita Cortese as cocinera.

Production by Kramer & Sigman Films. Producers: Hugo sigman, Agustín Almodóvar, Pedro Almodóvar, Matías Mosteirín, Esther Garcia, Claudio Belocopitt, Gerardo Rozín. Written by: Damian Szifrón. Music by: Gustavo Santaolalla Cinematography by: Javier Julià

WILD TALES was shown as part of CINEQUEST 25 Film Festival on Tuesday, February 24th at the California Theatre in San José. It was followed by a conversation with ANNE THOMPSON

Wild Tales Trailer