Saturday, 14 May 2011

Review - Amores Perros (2000 - Dir. Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu)

The film can be summarised as gritty, hostile, Mexican drama in three bite size chunks. Amores Perros (Love's a Bitch) tells three individual stories each connected by a city centre car crash in a world of grime, inequality and violence.

There's a lot to like about the film. The themes of class, cruelty and man's relationship with animals are all explored and developed, with the use and abuse of dogs a key ingredient in each of the stories. The acting is of a high standard with the excellent Gael Garcia Bernal struggling manfully through a tale of dog fighting and sibling rivalry, and Emilio Echevarria utterly convincing as a lonely vagrant, dog loving hitman with issues. Mexico City also provides the perfect setting for this hot, urban and passionate drama.

With all the ingredients present for a Mexican 'gritfest', why am I not convinced? The three stories don't quite gel together, the middle story is weaker and too long, but even so I can still see this is a quality piece of cinema that I should be raving about. For me, I was just left feeling 'So what?' at the end of the film. A great film in many ways but missing the magic dust that would turn it into something special.

If you like this you could also try:
City of God, Open Your Eyes, Gomorrah.


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