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Amores Perros (Love’s a Bitch) September 7, 2006

Posted by Sai in English, Movies, Reviews, Spanish.
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This Mexican film received immense critical acclaim and praise apart from an Oscar nomination (it lost to Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon in the foreign film category in 2000) and that raised my expectations. I enjoyed this film but probably not as much as the critics. From the common viewer’s perspective, this is not as enjoyable a film as it is from a director’s or writer’s perspective. I liked the movie more after it ended as I had some time to comprehend what I had witnessed.

Each of the three interlinked stories has a lot of depth and some of the nuances of the stories are not easily apparent as they unfold. Dogs form a key aspect of each of the stories (hence the title). This movie is very well written (by Guillermo Arriaga who also wrote 21 grams, Babel and The Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada) and the stories are expertly interwoven. This movie takes us through the lives of its characters with the dogs providing an interesting parallel to the humans and their stories (a lot of contemplation was necessary before I realised this). One of the stories reminded me of some people who tend to show more interest or love for dogs than human beings (which isn’t something that I can relate to or accept).

This movie apparently inspired Mani Ratnam’s Yuva/Ayudha Ezhuthu to the extent that the format is similar. There are three interconnected stories linked together by an accident (the interlinking is not really new). That is where the similarities end.

This is the debut film of Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu (who has also made other critically acclaimed films like 21 grams and Babel, which is now traveling the festival circuit) and he has superb command over style and technique. The acting is laudable too and Emilio Echevarría in particular has great screen presence. There is freshness in the stories and the narration is realistic but this movie does not offer entertainment and many might find its pace to be slow. This movie is for those who like good/different/intelligent cinema and are willing to invest some thought in the movie.