Sick 'em. The vile Jarocho (Sanchez Parra) sends another of his dogs up against Octavio's champion.
Amores Perros
Love’s a Bitch

dir Alejandro Gonzalez Iñarritu
scr Guillermo Arriaga Jordan
with Gael Garcia Bernal, Vanessa Bauche, Alvaro Guerrero, Goya Toledo, Emilio Echevarria, Marco Perez, Jorge Salinas, Rodrigo Murray, Gustavo Sanchez Parra, Laura Almela, Lourdes Echevarria, Jose Sefami
release US 30.Mar.01; UK 4.May.01
00/Mexico 2h35 4½ out of 5 stars
Like a Mexican Magnolia, Amores Perros is a sprawling tapestry of emotion, weaving together three powerful stories about the hopefulness and pain of love. It's a stunningly made film, raw and authentic, with the ability to get way under the skin. The three stories revolve around a fatal car crash. First we have Octavio (Garcia Bernal), a young man in love with his pregnant sister-in-law Susana (Bauche). To raise money to run off with her, he "borrows" his brother's (Perez) pittbull for a series of vicious dogfights. Second is the story of Daniel (Guerrero), who leaves his wife (Almela) for a model (Toledo) whose gorgeous looks are injured in the car crash ... and whose beloved little dog gets lost under their apartment's floorboards, causing Daniel to question his decisions. The third story centres on El Chivo (Emilio Echevarria), a dog-loving homeless man and former communist terrorist now working as a hitman, but still obsessed with the daughter (Lourdes Echevarria) he abandoned for the cause.

There are more stories and plots woven into the film's structure and, like most of these films, it's assembled out of time sequence, returning again and again to the pivotal accident. The result is absolutely stunning, reflecting the cyclical nature of love and romance, the wandering attentions, self-doubts, misplaced loyalties and most importantly the way true love opens us up to both true joy and dangerous vulnerability. The actors are all startlingly natural--it's like we're watching real life. Mexico City could be any place on earth. And the emotions the characters feel are the very same things we both yearn for and fear. That said, the film is very long, rather repetitive and a bit too violent for us to really identify with the situations these people get themselves into (not many of us face mutilated dogs, bank robberies, gun-toting thugs, assassinations or disfiguring injury on a daily basis). But as a metaphor for the struggles we all go through to find real love and happiness, this is clever, meaningful, moving stuff indeed.
strong adult themes and situations, violence, language cert 18 15.Feb.01

Awards: Best Foreign Film nomination (Oscar 01, Golden Globe 01); International Critics Prize, Audience Award (Cannes 00)

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"I think Amores Perros is one of the BEST movies I have ever seen. Finally there is a movie that shows how love really is. Alejandro Gonzales Iñárritu totally desereved the Oscar. Some people may criticize the film because of its bloody content, but they have to go past that and see the symbolism within." --Christina Sanchez, San Diego 7.Apr.01

love's a bitch "This is a classic film that deals with every level of human life. It's a film that will stay in your mind for a few days after you walk out of the movie theater. It's so profound that its caracters remain in you mind for a long time and every scene in the movie has meaning in real life. It's very well acted by all actors, especially El Chivo (Emilio Echevarria). And the direction of the movie is much better that any other movie I've seen; also the cinematography keeps the tension of the movie going. This is definitely a must-see movie. A masterpiece." --Raul Guevara, Los Angeles 16.Apr.01

"I'm completely amazed by Gael Garcia Bernal's acting, specially when he's waiting for the bus and then the bus driver asks him whether he wants come in or stay out, and he turns and sheds a tear. I thought that was amazing; I will probably never forget that moment. The director has said that the bus driver was Gael's real-life father, which he hadn't seen for a while. And the tear drops were real." --Wanpoet12, net 5.Oct.01

© 2001 by Rich Cline, Shadows on the Wall