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Amores Perros  

Directed by: Alejandro Gonzalez Inniaritu

Film is Rated R for violence/gore, language and sexuality. Running time is 153 minutes.

"Amores Perros" (translated to be "Love's A Bitch") is just fresh off its Academy Award nomination for Best Foreign Language Film. Unfortunately, it was nominated in a year where a behemoth of a movie called "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon" was also in the running, so it had zero chance of winning. However, "Amores Perros" is an impressive debut by Inniaritu, and Mexico can be proud of this one.
Amores Perros
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The film starts off with a major car collision in the streets of Mexico City, and this becomes the unifying event that ties in three overlapping stories. We are then slowly introduced to each character and their situations unfold.

Octavio (Gael Garcia Bernal) is in love with his siter-in-law Susana (Vanessa Bauche), and with his budding and highly profitable career in dog fighting, he plans to whisk away Susana from her abusive and low life husband Ramiro (Marco Perez). Daniel (Alvaro Guerrero) is a successful advertising guy who leaves his wife and kids to be with an enchanting young model Valeria (Goya Toledo), until something happens and Daniel is forced to reassess his life. "El Chivo" (Emilio Echevarria) is an ex-guerilla who gets paid to kill while disguised as a hobo, but soon his past catches up to him. Every character is involved in tales of love going awry, whether it be envy, loss or regret.

Many have already compared "Amores Perros" to "Pulp Fiction" because of its non-linear narrative and spurts of violence. Although it's not nearly as great as the latter, this film has many good things going for it.

The film is rife with intense moments of brutality, yet it doesn't forget the humanness of its characters. Their dire situations are compounded with the troubles they have with their emotions. Not all the characters are likable, but the stories are all engaging and we can't help but feel sorry for their plights. The director captures the right tone and mood for each scene, and the cinematography is great having that nitty-gritty and intimate look.

I thought the movie could have used a bit more editing though for it is a bit too long at 153 minutes, but nevertheless, "Amores Perros" is an engrossing piece of work from a promising director.


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