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My thoughts on Thesis on a Homicide a.k.a. Tesis sobre un homicidio (2013) and Wild Tales a.k.a. Relatos salvajes (2014)

Thesis on a Homicide is made by the same people responsible for the excellent El secreto de sus ojos a.k.a. The Secret in their Eyes (2009). So naturally I was interested to watch this. Unfortunately the experience was far less satisfying. Actually not satisfying at all.

Let's start with the good. The acting is top notch. The actors make events more compelling than they actually are. The atmosphere also helps you draw into the mystery. Then what is the problem you might ask? There is a lot of promise and build up but no pay off. The ending is left open leaving it up to the viewer to decide what happened. I am not fond of open endings. But I can appreciate them if the film has given you enough to chew on after you watched the film. In this case there is very little to sink your teeth in. The pivotal and most essential elements have been left out so you can't really connect the dots unless you go pixel hunting in a second viewing. I know that main character Roberto points out that details are everything. But then these details should pop up or be mentioned or addressed once. The most important aren't so it will leave you puzzled and confused. I understand that the story is based on a book and I do have an idea what they were going for. But they have failed to convey those details in the film. 

But even if you look past this flaw another issue arises. The motivation. There is none. Apparently this is also something you have to figure out yourself. I don't mind books or films forcing me to work my brain to get that satisfying conclusion. However you still will have to give me the tools to get there. You can't expect me to leave out the dots to make the connection in the first place.

This makes Thesis on a Homicide a very frustrating affair since up until it's ending it's pretty solid. But to then be let down to this extent is aggravating.

Wild Tales is an anthology film consisting of 6 twisty and dark shorts. In essence it's a black comedy where the weird and macabre side of humans is explored. For the most part this is an entertaining affair. Although towards the end certain stories do drag a little much and don't really offer a strong conclusion like the ones in the beginning. 

This anthology certainly is twisted and entertaining. But if you were hoping for real surprises than this might let you down. Compared to The Twilight Zone or Tales of the Unexpected for example, Wild Tales is hardly creative. As crazy and chaotic as some stories are played out none of it came close to being shocking and powerful. Probably because they went for the laughs which detracted from the darkness.

That being said the performances are excellent and most of the pacing is fast. So overall you will be fully entertained. Certainly one I can recommend!

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