Saturday, July 28, 2007

Amores Perros (Love's A Bitch) 2001

Amores Perros, the first film by director Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu, who more recently produced Babel, is one of the best examples of today's Mexican film industry. Set in contemporary Mexico City, the film links three distinct separate narratives through the event of a car crash; the film begins with and evolves around the crash as each of the three 'chapters' explores the stories of the individual characters.

I found the film particularly interesting because it dealt with issues that were universal and those uniquely Mexican - the film could be set in any poor, over-populated urban environment whilst the issue of over one million homeless dogs was more unique to Mexico City and the film also explores ideological struggles from Brazil's past.

The film balances on the theme of relationships, whether these are between people and dogs, lovers, brothers, family or economic / political and the idea of living with decisions - the cruelty human beings impose on each other. This results in the film being violent and extremely graphic at times, some comparing the violence to that in Pulp Fiction; however personally, I felt the violence was painful and real in Amores Perros, it was one of the factors that impacted me most and was far from entertaining.

Amores Perros is built on an ambitious plot of overlapping lives, a cleverly structured narrative that holds your attention. Visually I found the film very powerful and the direction one of the strongest parts - Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu has an incredible sense of detail and the down-to-earth grittiness, the almost continuous camera movements creates, certainly suits the themes and ideas explored.

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