If you’re a fan of anthology films but need something stronger than the relentlessly feel-good Indian variants to kick off yet another potentially gruelling week, look no further than Wild Tales on Amazon Prime Video.
Wild Tales is for those who like anthology films that are like Tales From the Unexpected rather than Bedtime Stories. Directed by Argentine filmmaker Damian Szifron, the Spanish-language omnibus movie comprises six tales connected by inchoate anger and revenge.
The first is set on a plane, where several passengers realise that they happen to know a man named Gabriel Pasternak. The final one unfolds at a wedding that spirals out of control. Another story is about a hit-and-run. In a fourth chapter, a loan shark walks into the wrong restaurant.
The stories are connected by a few elements: coincidences that allow long-brewing resentments to be expressed, happenstance that reveals the dark side of human nature, a lack of control that has a cascading effect. Co-produced by the brothers Pedro and Agustin Almodovar, Wild Tales has the quality of wicked transgression that marks Pedro Almodovar’s own films.
The grimly funny tone, just this side of hysterical, is consistent throughout the chapters. The beautifully produced film has a stellar cast that includes Ricardo Darin (Nine Queens, The Secret In Their Eyes) and Oscar Martinez (Official Competition). This anthology film is for grown-ups who like their stories messy, without the comfort of neat endings or facile moralising.