The good Edgar Wright has recently stated (on Twitter) that a debut film should not exceed one hour and a half, consistently with his A fistful of fingers (1995) lasting one hour and 18 minutes. And of course Alejandro G. Iñárritu (the same director who made Birdman and The revenant) spectacularly went against this innocent advice by starting his career with a 147 minutes-long movie (and apparently it was even longer had it not been for the help of Guillermo del Toro)!
Amores perros is the first movie directed by Alejandro G. Iñárritu: released in 2000, it stars a long list of actors including Gael García, Vanessa Bauche, and Emilio Echevarría. Considered to be the first chapter of the trilogy of death (together with 21 grams and Babel), it is a choral film in which three main stories cross each other. Technically impressive, I found it beautiful to watch, probably the best one made by the Mexican director, but it’s a bit heavy. More generally, I find Iñárritu’s cinema a bit presumptuous: it’s so elaborate that it makes me think that the director only makes movies to show off his story-telling skills. In fact even Guillermo del Toro joked about that when he declared that he makes films to entertain and gain money, while his friends Cuarón and Iñárritu are real artists!
What about Amores perros, then? There’s a road accident filmed with nine cameras that we see from four or five different angles. There are continuous shots with hand-held cameras filmed in the most dangerous streets of Mexico City. There are incredibly realistic dog fights (especially the first one), and of course no animals were harmed. Extremely “raw”, it’s a very powerful movie on the harmful consequences of loves going against everything and everyone. The documentary-style makes us feel very close to the characters, all well-written and show-casing the various degrees of negativity of the human beings lost for love. I don’t know what the director wanted to tell us with this movie, but he does it well: after all, this is the phrase I can say about all the Iñárritu films I’ve seen (that is all except Biutiful, of 2010), perhaps excluding Birdman over which I guess that we could talk for a long time.
To conclude: I saw it, I’m glad that I did (and I recommend it), I liked it, but I don’t want to watch it again. It’s too long for what it has to say (maybe nothing?), and a little heavy. Ciao!