Language : Spanish.
Director : Alejandro González Iñárritu.
Writers : Alejandro González Iñárritu, Guillermo Arriaga
Cast : Emilio Echevarría, Gael García Bernal, Goya Toledo, Álvaro Guerrero, Vanessa Bauche, Jorge Salinas, Adriana Barraza.
Genre : Drama | Thriller
Streaming on Lionsgate Play, Amazon Prime with Lionsgate Plugin , VI Movies
Long before Lijo Jose Pellissery reigned in Kerala and Indian Cinema via Jallikattu (2019), Alejandro González Iñárritu dropped a masterclass in raw, bloody, visceral films via his debut Amores Perros (2000). Amores Perros translates to Love is a Bitch roughly. The title is a pun in Spanish; the word “perros”, which literally means “dogs”, can also be used to refer to misery, so that it roughly means ‘bad loves’ with canine connotations. Very safe to say the film has influenced Lijo Jose Pellissery, many other filmmakers all over the globe.
Amores Perros is the first instalment in González Iñárritu’s “Trilogy of Death”, succeeded by 21 Grams (2003) and Babel (2006). It makes use of the multi-narrative hyperlink cinema style and features an ensemble cast. The film is constructed as a triptych: it contains three distinct stories connected by a car accident in Mexico City. The stories are linked in various ways, including the presence of dogs in each of them.
A few of the themes common to each section is the presence of dogs, the inequality between the characters in the system/society they live in and violence. If not for the car accident, the main characters would never interact. With a runtime of 153 minutes, the film is not rushed and takes its time to tell its tale, give utmost importance to all the central characters and hear their voices and feel their emotions. It amps up the pace whenever required and not unnecessarily. Coming to the title, different shades of love, conjugal, filial etc are depicted interestingly in the movie. This movie is definitely not for the faint-hearted, you will enjoy it more likely if you liked the raw movies of Lijo Jose Pellissery, or City of God/ Cidade de Dues (2002). The structure of the film works really well and the Cinematography definitely reminds you of Lijo Jose Pellissery’s Angamaly Diaries (2017) with the moving cameras and action sequences. I watched this film around 7 years back and till date the ending sequence and the quote on the screen made me feel certain emotions and reflect upon a lot of things in life and about love. Inarritu has poured his heart out with this film and it’s technically brilliant. This is one film that cinephiles will relish. Highly recommended.
Verdict – 6/7 stars.
Controversial because of the fact it depicts dogfights, the dogs seen fighting each other were actually just playing. Careful editing makes it look a lot more vicious. Their muzzles were also covered with very fine fishing line so they were unable to bite each other.
The first film in a loose trilogy of death, all directed by Alejandro G. Iñárritu and written by Guillermo Arriaga. The next two films were 21 Grams (2003) and Babel (2006). Between them, all three films earned 10 Academy Award nominations.
Shot in some of the more dangerous parts of Mexico City. It was not uncommon for the production crew to be robbed by street gangs.
The Red Hot Chili Peppers’ music video for their song “By The Way” was inspired by the film’s opening car chase scene.
All the images shown on the TV sets during the picture are commercials. These commercials were also directed by Alejandro G. Iñárritu. They include a TV station promotional, an ad for a bank, among others.
It took seven months to edit all the three-story strands together to Alejandro G. Iñárritu’s satisfaction.
Included among the “1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die”, edited by Steven Schneider.
The only film by Alejandro G. Iñárritu (as of 2021) that does not feature at least one Academy Award-nominated performance.