‘Amores Perros’ was Alejandro González Iñárritu’s first feature film released in the year 2000. It is the first film in Iñárritu’s renowned ‘Death Trilogy’, where hopes of love and a better life are obliterated at the hands of fate, abandonment and violence. The film made him a celebrated figure in world cinema and earned him an Oscar nomination under the category of Best Foreign Language Film. Starring Gael Garcia Bernal, Emilio Echevarria and Goya Toledo, the film is a social commentary that revolves around 3 sets of characters and how a fatal car accident changes their lives forever. By showcasing the depths of Mexico City in a gripping non-linear narrative, ‘Amores Perros’ depicts the brutality of human existence and the cruelty of humans towards humans.
A real treat to watch, the film features stellar performances, a guerrilla style cinematography that will keep you on the edge and last but not least, an immersive storytelling. The narrative structure is very much identical to Tarantino’s ‘’Pulp Fiction’’ as the story does not progress in a chronological order.
Theme of Violence:
However, unlike Tarantino, the movie does not stylize violence but chooses to condemn it. Set pieces such as the dog fighting sequences, the domestic violence in the family of Octavio, El Chivo’s journey, from a school teacher to a hitman, a brother’s attempt to kill his own blood and lastly, Valeria’s self obsession and post accident relationship with Daniel, symbolize how violence can truly destroy the well-being of humankind.
Dog fighting, which is a key element in the movie, is a gladiatorial practice, where two game dogs fight against one another for the entertainment of the spectators. Here, Cofi is the counterpart of El Chivo as both are killers for the highest bidder. On the other hand, Valeria’s dog Richie is just the opposite of Cofi as one is meek and the later grows up to be extremely violent.
Theme of Inequality:
The characters belong from different parts of the society, as Octavio was raised in a bad neighborhood of Mexico City and did not flinch before giving away his pet, whereas Daniel and Valeria are the elites, leading a lush and opulent lifestyle. Inarritu and his Cinematographer , Rodrigo Prieto, followed different approach for each set of characters.