Amores Perros is the debut film from critically acclaimed director Alejandro G Inarritu. Prior to this, I never really enjoyed any of his movies, albeit a small sample size. I did not like Revenant and thought Birdman was vastly overrated and that Boyhood was the best movie of 2014. Amores Perros made me want to go and watch more of AGI’s early films because this was truly fantastic.
Clocking in at two hours and thirty-four minutes, Amores perros was a whirlwind that followed the lives of three people all connected through a car accident. What makes this movie special is that is a true to form look into real life in Mexico. The film also chose stars unknown to Hollywood and most Americans, and introduced a new star that is still working to this day. Gael Garcia Bernal stars on the hit Amazon show, Mozart in the Jungle, and the new Pixar film Coco. Besides GGB, his costars are wonderful. Proving that you don’t need Hollywood to be talented.
This movie garnered a lot of heat when it was initially released in 2000 for depicting the dark sport of dog fighting. Inarritu shoes just how barbaric, and popular, dog fighting is in the slums of Mexico City. What makes this movie so appealing is across all three stories is an inherit desire for something more. Wether it be Octavio’s desire to have a better life with his sister in law, Valeria to be healthy once again, or El Chivo to live happily with his daughter in his life. They all want something more and it isn’t thrown in your face.
This film was broke up into 3 different parts and each had their own unique take on life in Mexico. The first was the dogfighting story with Octavio. This showed the brutal struggle of trying to make money in Mexico. The second was about a supermodel who has to learn to live with her injuries after a serious car accident. She starts to become stir crazy as reality sets in as she may never be able to walk again. The final piece was following a homeless, yet skillful hitman as he tries to turn his life around and become a part of his daughters life. All very interesting topics that easily could have been done in three separate movies, yet AIG had the vision to make the three stories coincide with one another and really turn this film into something special.
This movie had a fairly long run time but there was never a moment that I wished it was shorter. It was fast paced like a Danny Boyle movie, but without the quick cuts. It’s dialogue felt like a Linklater movie, but had the grace of the Spanish language.
This was quite possibly one of the best movies I’ve seen this entire year and I am now motivated to seek out 21 Grams and Babel, the unofficial follow ups to Amores Perros.
Amores Perros: 9.3/10