Greetings again from the darkness. Do you often get accused of having a slightly demented sense of humor? Do you have secret crazy thoughts of seeking revenge on those who have wronged you? If so, writer/director Damian Szifron has a collection of short stories just for you!
Nominated for Best Foreign Language Oscar, Argentina’s entry is just now opening in the Dallas market where I live. To say Wild Tales is a wild ride would be quite an understatement. There are six short stories blended together, and while you may not recognize the theme immediately, it doesn’t take long before rage and retribution jump to the forefront in these seemingly typical slices of everyday life.
The best short stories make a quick grab for attention, and manage to convey character and setting from the beginning. The writing is crucial and can easily collapse in the hands of a less-proficient short story writer. But when it works, it’s fascinating to watch, and Mr. Szifron has a real talent for making us laugh in the midst of truly awful situations.
Not to give away any details, but the six stories involve: a remarkable “coincidence” on a flight, an unwelcome customer at a local diner, a close-quarters brawl at a bridge, the frustration of dealing with “the system”, misguided parental instincts in protecting their kid, and the most wheels-off wedding reception ever filmed.
If you are ever searching for an example of a dark comedy, this one will provide clarity. The seemingly unrelated stories are woven together through payback, though the price is often pretty high. Mr. Szifron’s stories remind us that life is not fair, but when it’s happening to someone else, we can still laugh about it.