A retired legal counselor writes a novel hoping to find closure for one of his past unresolved homicide cases and for his unreciprocated love with his superior - both of which still haunt him decades later.
Juan José Campanella
A teacher lives a lonely life, all the while struggling over his son's custody. His life slowly gets better as he finds love and receives good news from his son, but his new luck is about to be brutally shattered by an innocent little lie.
Thomas Bo Larsen,
On the brink of the new Millennium in the bustling City of Mexico, one horrible car accident intertwines inextricably the lives of three perfect strangers. Octavio, a rebellious adolescent who is secretly in love with his sister-in-law, dreams of escaping his miserable life, and for this reason, he enters reluctantly the obscure world of dog fighting with his lethal dog Cofi. And then unexpectedly, Valeria, a stunning woman and famous supermodel, will cross paths with Octavio, while in the meantime, her pampered little dog Richie manages to vanish into thin air in the confined space of her apartment. Lastly, Chivo, an ex-guerrilla vagabond, after abandoning his little daughter, unable to make up for lost time, he channels his love to the city's strays and a mortally wounded Rottweiler. In the end, even though all the weary characters, men and beasts, wish for a bright future, in this life-changing journey in the pursuit of love, sometimes infidelity, sin and death can get in the way. Written by
During the car crash, stabilizing bars, to further strengthen the roof and protect the stunt driver, are visible in the black car. These bars are on both the driver's and passenger's side and run diagonally from the roof to, presumably the floor, as in a race car. The bars are not visible prior to the accident or after the accident, This particular vehicle was almost certainly just used for that one scene/shot. See more »
Will someone please tell me what all the fuss is about? If the presence of gore is the gauge of cinematic skill, then yes, AMORES PERROS is a masterpiece. But surely one first-time director's fascination with maimed dogs and Mexicanismo does not a 21st-century film template make. Granted, it's a somewhat cleverly crafted story, but this blood-guts-passion trip through Mexico City fails to make any real point or leave the audience with much to ponder. (Though I did find myself contemplating how they managed to locate all those dead-dog body doubles for the live dogs...)
AMORES PERROS, which the film translates as "Love is a Bitch," might be better rendered "Love is Like a Dog," or "Some of These People Actually LOVE Dogs," or "If You Love Your Dog, Don't See This Movie." It opens with a truly gruesome car crash in which blood and guts swirl around liberally. If you happen to walk in late, never fear: the scene will replay twice more. With this event as the anchor, the film flashes back and forward on the lives directly and tangentially involved--what led up to this bloody wreck and how it affects all concerned.
Driving the offending vehicle is Octavio (Gael García Bernal), brother of the abusive Ramiro (Marco Pérez) and lover-in-waiting of his wife, Susana (Vanessa Bauche). Octavio's role is basically to hang around the house panting at his sister-in-law, until he decides to make money by entering Ramiro's vicious mastiff in dog fights. The car he's slammed into conveys supermodel Valeria (Goya Toledo), whose successful career ends on impact. She is mistress to Daniel (Álvaro Guerrero), who's gone middle-age crazy and separated from his wife to live with Valeria 24/7. The supermodel's true love, however, is her moplike Lhasa apso, Richie.
The triptych's third panel focuses on El Chivo (Emilio Echevarría), a former revolutionary. Imprisoned while his daughter was born, he has never met her, though he's remained obsessed with images of her for more than 20 years. He moons over her while alternately practicing his assassination skills and living with his own pack of canines.
AMORES PERROS is the debut film of director Alejandro González Inárritu, a Mexican DJ who's apparently seen PULP FICTION a few times. While it doesn't slavishly imitate Tarantino, it noticeably cops a few of his moves. Like a bad case of coffee nerves, the film functions best at high velocity and on razor's edge. There's plenty of speeded-up action, trick cuts, and always the threat of imminent gore. With many scenes rife with tension, AMORES often strays into telenovela territory, though it's tough to tell if the melodrama is intentional.
Yet, strangely enough, after all this adrenaline puts us on red alert, we are thrust into an extremely tedious middle portion, in which Valeria's dog gets trapped beneath floorboards and the hapless couple can't reckon how to retrieve him. Richie whines night after night, Valeria whines night after night, fights ensue, she stages a minirevolt from her wheelchair--and we're left with a yawning, "And your point is...."
Is love a bitch? Sure. Do people treat their loves like dogs? Sometimes. Is this a rich metaphor that bears 2 1/2 hours of graphically violent exploration? Not really. Does this represent, as raves the NEW YORK TIMES, "the first classic of the new decade"? I'd hate to think so.
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