By Mónica Delgado

Argentinian filmmaker Damián Szifrón’s Relatos Salvajes breaks with the festival film prototype designed especially for Cannes, or in other case, proposes a new route: that of black b series humour, as if it were a tape of eighties’ spirited episodes, but with a social critique intention and mockery in an actual national key. This tape could’ve easily be in a festival such as Sitges, for its visceral and violent side, treated under a frontal and sardonic side, however, it seems that despite the ups and downs that the official selection has been presenting (or at least that much is perceived in the third day), it has proven its openness to different proposals, oriented to a different kind of audience with cinephile references. 

In this third film by Szifrón, known Argentinian “star system” actors and actresses appear, from Ricardo Darin to Dario Grandinetti or Leonardo Sbaraglia. However, beyond of what this implies, what the filmmaker looks is to watch them in new situations, which propose a disappointed look of today Buenos Aires, with its bureaucracy, corruption and amorality, but from the bursts of violence and animal outbursts of the characters. 

Retratos Salvajes consists of six episodes that carry different variations of suspense and acid humour, with hints of thriller, road movie and love drama, to lay out this stories in common behind the same caustic influence of liberated urge and as a way of response to a determined impulse: the girlfriend that finds out of infidelity in her wedding night, the yuppie who is pursued by a madman in the highway, the waitress that recognizes her father’s killer, all of them assembling a gallery of responses of different intensity. 

Under the production of El Deseo, by the Almodóvar brothers, this Szifrón film also possess an additional plus that resides in the script work, that if perhaps doesn’t look to articulate each portrait in an evident way, does so through the topics that motivate violence, and also in a delightful use of dialogues, filled with wit and hilarity. A great surprise in this third festival day. 

Official Competition
Director: Damián Szifrón
Cast: Ricardo Darín, Darío Grandinetti, Leonardo Sbaraglia, Rita Cortese, Julieta Zylberberg, entre otros.
Producer: El Deseo
Argentina/ España
122 min.