Thursday, February 3, 2011

From Mexico - With love

Amores Perros (Love's a bitch)
Starring Gael Garcia Bernal, Emilio Echevarria, Goya Toledo
Directed by Alejandro Gonzales Inarritu
Released - 2000.

"If you want to make God laugh, tell him your plans."

Although the literal translation of the title is 'Love's a bitch', it could well have been 'Love is betrayal' for that is the common motif running through this film.

Alejandro Gonzales Inarritu is the director who also came out with the immensely successful 'Babel' and after watching this film, it's pretty clear that Babel is a more expansive, telling and dare I say 'globalized' version of this Mexican film. Like 'Babel' the theme of the movie revolves around an incident which affects a bunch of people in conflicting ways, and then sets off another chain of events. The film basically tells three different tales which are inextricably linked by this incident.

In the first tale, Gael garcia bernal plays Octavio, who is in love with his brother's wife, Susana who is treated like a rag doll by Octavio's brother. The next tale involves an advertising executive who is cheating on his wife with a spanish supermodel while the third tale tells the story of a former professor who abandoned his family to become a guerilla and as he puts it to "change the world for good".

Although 'Amores Perros' has its dull moments, the first hour blows most Hollywood crime thrillers out of the water with its upright impact and brutal pace. The film's backdrop is set on the unforgiving streets of Mexico city and dog fighting which has been a controversial topic in recent years forms the basis of what sets off the chain of events which goes on to define the destiny of the characters. Inarritu also employs the use of symbolic parables, a story within a story, to drive home his point, especially during the parts where the story seems to fall apart a bit.

Finally 'Amores Perros' laid the basis for what turned out to be the biggest success of Inarritu's career in the form of 'Babel' and although it is not as hard-hitting as 'City of God' was, I'd still rate it four and a half stars out of five. A definite must watch and a great advert for mexican cinema.

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