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500 Five-Star: Amores Perros (2000)

July 27, 2011

 

Amores Perros: a film about the relationships, interactions and similarities between dogs and humans.  Aaw.  Bit like the Mexican Marley & Me.  Except for, you know, the shootings, the car crashes, the poverty, the infidelity…oh, and making the dogs kill eachother for gambling purposes.  Ummm, come to think of it, it’s nothing like Marley & Me.  That’s a good thing though, I assure you.

I’d heard many excellent things about Amores Perros over the years, but having seen 21 Grams and Babel, I really had no interest in sitting through another of González Iñárritu’s well-made but utterly soul-sapping films.  Having started this project though, I had no choice but to check it out.  I’m now very thankful for that.  Amores Perros is just about as depressing as the two films which followed it (I haven’t gotten around to catching Biutiful yet), but still far more entertaining and exciting-something I put down to a raw energy that has been lost in those later films.  Amores Perros is brutal drama but it is presented in an incredibly exhilarating fashion, skipping around time to connect three very different stories.  The aforementioned dogs are used to emphasise the complex human natures of their owners; a technique which could have come across as showy or forced, but instead feels completely natural to the storytelling.  In fact, despite the brutality and sadness, the effortless nature of the film makes Amores Perros a surprisingly easy watch.  It’s hard not to just sit back and enjoy filmmaking of this quality, especially when it’s as thrilling as this.

 

Verdict:

 

I have to agree with Empire…Amores Perros is one of the century’s first masterpieces.

*****

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