Stories-not-quite-woven-together-anthology by Damián Szifron, Argentina 2014

In a series of thematically, though not narratively, connected stories, we get to follow different people giving retribution to perceived slights, often in exaggerated manners. A plane where the passengers share a common acquaintance, a man whose life shatters, triggered by a parking violation and a bride discovering something on her wedding feast are some of the stories told in this Argentinean Oscar contribution.

With black humour and a grey and gray morality, Damián Szifron delivers a smorgasbord of funny, sad, dark and hilariously over-the-top cinematic dishes. The mood is set straight away with the plane story, as a cynical and mundane take on LOST, and is followed by a breather about a mob boss’ comeuppance. With hints of The Duel, Falling down and the Wolf sequence in Pulp Fiction, other stories are presented with the common theme of someone being, at least in their own opinion, wronged and so gives an often disproportionate retribution. Losing control might be the unifying factor, and never clearer so than in the final installment, in which a terrific Érica Rivas gives a performance of a lifetime as a bride who, upon discovering her groom’s cheating on the night of their wedding, turns the woman scorned ante up to eleven. There are some Almodovary vibes, which isn’t surprising, seeing as he’s one of the producers.

Bechdel test: Fail

5 cakes of 6