Three overlapping stories are set in Mexico City. A young man named Octavio falls for his sister-in-law and begins entering the family pet in dog fights to raise money so he and his love can runnoft. A wealthy magazine exec leaves his family to pursue a relationship with a model named Valeria and the history of a mysterious drifter is revealed. The three stories intersect at, uh, an intersection, when the Octavio’s car smashes into Valeria’s.
When I saw Amores Perros on the shelf my first thoughts were “I don’t understand those words!” But the movie had some good reviews, so I got it. It’s set in Mexico City, so for the sake of authenticity, all of the dialog is in Spanish. They have translations on the bottom of the screen, although all that reading hurts my head.
Basically, everything positive you’ve heard about this film is accurate. It’s a serious candidate for the best film of 2000. It has a nice look with some great images, like when a yuppie gets shot through the back in a Japanese restaurant, causing his blood to run on to the grill and sizzle.
That pretty much captures the essence of the film. Violence, conflict, lust and those ebullient bodily fluids running out of their containers. The theme seems especially appropriate to a third world setting like Mexico City, where people are crammed into one another’s faces and where violence and brutality are more viable options, at least than they are here in Dekalb, IL.
In the second story we learn that affluence is no protection. A man follows his dick away from his family and into the arms of a famous model. Just as they begin to establish their new lives they face serious tribulations due to the car crash and, subsequently, a rodent-dog and some poor craftsmanship. The chaos of Octavio’s world spills into Valeria’s.
The commentary by Innaritu and Arriaga (also in Spanish, which is taking things a bit far) is well above average, with good anecdotes, but that’s probably because making a film in Mexico is more interesting than making one here. Por ejemplo, in Mexico you have to negotiate with local gangs to use certain locations. The primary focus is on the characters and the content of the film with enough incite to significantly enhance my understanding.
Number of times I paused the movie to do something else–0