Distress is a part of everyday life. For some, it comes in small bursts. For these six collections of people, distress turned from an emotion to a real potential for chaos. Salgado and Isabel meet for the first time on a flight, but they quickly learn that their paths are more intertwined than just being passengers. A common acquaintance means much more than a simple shared story. For a cook and a waitress in an empty diner, a gangster named Cuenca’s arrival provides a perfect opportunity to enact some revenge. Diego and Mario are two men on a highway, but a passing altercation turns into so much more as they battle for dominance through violence and crude acts. Simón, a demolitions expert, seems to keep having the city’s corrupt parking enforcement ruin his life. Mauricio and his family are devastated by his son’s deadly actions and are forced to make difficult decisions about bribing his way out of it. Romina and Ariel are newlyweds, but a secret held by Ariel has the potential to unravel the entire evening in dramatic fashion.
Review: This truly was a wild one. Each of the six stories were filled with moments that foreshadowed the coming chaos. In some cases, the distress resulted in the demise of those involved, while others were relatively surprising outcomes.
The first story (Pasternak) was more straightforward. The airplane was full of people who had a common person who brought them together. After realizing that they may have had negative experiences with this man, they feared for the events to come. While more predictable, it also had a fun flow to how the story played out.
In Las Ratas, the waitress had a sad tale of family ruin at the hands of a gangster. When that man happened into the diner, she recounted on her past horrors. The cook was much more action oriented. While the waitress was content with just getting through the encounter and watching him leave, the cook took matters into her own hands. This story of vengeance was an extreme example of attempting to make someone feel pain similar to your own. As the situation got more complicated, the waitress feared for her safety, making it a very conflicting encounter.
El Más Fuerte was a story of masculinity gone wild, mixed with a dash of road rage. While Diego was impatient and rude in passing Mario on the road, he never could have imagined that his flat tire would allow him a second encounter with the man with a short fuse. While he hoped to just apologize and let it go, Mario went ballistic and the two men found themselves in a deadly game of one-upping the other’s insanity.
In Bombita, Simón was a man who let the world walk all over him. He was successful in his work, but his family was teetering on the edge of failure. To push him over the edge, the city’s parking enforcement seemed to find every way to infuriate him and ruin his life. Vowing for vengeance, he saw an opening to use his demolition skills to take down the system…or at least one of the parking enforcement depots.
La Propuesta was a more somber tale, with the distress coming in the form of covering up a hit & run and entangling multiple people in a series of lies. While the son was feeling the guilt for his actions, the father was more concerned for the future of the family. As they devised and carried out the plan, the extortion of each member involved put more pressure on following through, leaving the father to debate whether it was worth it in the first place to commit so much for his son’s screwup.
In the final story (Hasta Que la Muerte Nos Separe), a newly married couple had no clue that their wedding reception was going to be as big of a disaster as it turned out to be. While things were smooth at the start, a revelation of betrayal caused Romina to devise her own version of revenge. Though devastated, Ariel had no intention of letting her get away with it so easily.
While there were clear holes in each of the storylines, the grandiose, fantastic, and depth of each short story was intriguing and a departure away from most foreign films to hit the US market.
Dan’s Rating: 3.5/5