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Wild Tales

Revenge is a dish best served carefully in this darkly comic Argentine anthology

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Six darkly comic tales comprise this anthology film from Argentine writer-director Damian Szifron. If there is a theme, it is that people under stress often behave very poorly and with violence; each film also depicts some element of revenge. It begins with the shortest film, a funny bit of misdirection involving a woman traveling by plane for business, and ends with the best-worst wedding party ever. Two other films — one about a demolition expert who blows up his own life, another about a traffic accident — are more explicit about civic corruption and the power of money. My favorite was the two-man tale about road rage (with class overtones) and its perfectly logical but breathtaking escalation of violence (and likely, a hat-tip to the road-rage classic Duel). Well-acted and -produced, Szifron's compendium might not deliver any fresh insights into the foibles of the human animal, but it is an entertaining, twisty and twisted examination.

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