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Amores perros is a movie that involves 3 different people, with 3 different stories and lifestyles that come together in a car accident. Octavio involves his dog in dog fighting matches to get money to escape with his sister in law and nephew, Valeria is a beautiful model whose career comes crashing down when she is involved in a car accident that leads to her leg getting amputated. El Chivo is an old man who is trying to recover his daughter after so many years out of her life. Although nothing binds these 3 characters before the car accident, there is one thing they all have in common during the entire movie and that is their love for dogs.
“Amores Perros opens with a frenetic, fraught car chase. A dog is dying on the back seat while its owner tries desperately to evade those pursuing him through the busy streets of Mexico. The chase ends in a cataclysmic crash that pulls together three different stories” (Stendall, 2014). This car crash appears multiple times throughout the film from different perspectives as to why or what caused each character to be involved in that accident. Valeria, the model, is the victim in the accident while Octavio is trying to get away from people that are trying to kill him and Chivo is a witness who happen to be a at the exact intersection where the crash occurred.
The film’s first story involes Octavio and Susana who is married and has a child and a child on the way from Octavio’s own brother. Octavio owns a dog name Cofi which he involves in dog fights. “Needless to say this is not a film for sensitive dog lovers. There are frequent images of dead animals, their fur matted with dark red blood. When two dogs are pitted against each other, teeth bared, reared on their hind legs, thrashing at their collars, Iñárittu unleashes the full force of carnal violence” (Stendall, 2014). Octavio and Susana start an intimate relationship behind Octavio’s brothers back. At this point Octavio is making thousands of dollars from Cofi winning all of the dog fight matches and killing his opponents. While Octavio is making a lot of money he gives it all to Susana with the hope that she will run away with him.
The second story deals with Daniel, who leaves his wife and two daughters for a beautiful model named Valeria, whose picture for the perfume advert for ‘Enchant’ is all over Mexico City. Valeria is a dog lover who own a dog named Richie who dives down through a hole in the floorboards and won’t come out. The crash leaves her in a wheelchair with a broken leg that eventually gets amputated because she kept walking on it trying to get Richie out of the hole. This causes her modeling career to end. “Daniel, after flirting with the idea to abandon Valeria and return to his wife, in the end chooses to remain with his new love. He may have revealed his moral weakness by leaving his family in the first place, but he shows some ability to act ethically when he decides to commit himself to his decision to join his life to Valeria’s, instead of leaving her in her time of greatest need” (Hickks, Milen, Ortega, 2012).
“The third, and final, story explores the life of a member of the upper class, and transigent named El Chivo who works as a hitman for the corrupt police force. Living in squalor with only his dogs as companions, El Chivo represents, by his physical appearance, the decrepit state of members of this class of society in Mexico City. As his story unfolds, though, we learn that his tale is not one of perennial poverty—he is a fallen man. Giving him an origin of normality and respectability conveys the tragic nature of members of this underclass—their current state of abject poverty is a result of flaws in their character” (Hickks, Milen, Ortega, 2012). At the time of accident El Chivo who was present at the scene to rescue Cofi, who had been left to die on the side of the road by the paramedics. El Chivo also has multiple dogs which are family to Chivo. After rescuing Cofi from the the crash and nursing him back to health from a gunshot he received during a dog fight, Cofi kills every last one Chivo’s dogs. Chivo wanted to kill Cofi, but rethinks and decided not to kill him at the end.
“Iñárritu and his cinematographer, Rodrigo Prieto, used different styles for the three plots. The Octavio plot relies heavily on extreme close-ups in which a single face or even a part of a face fills the screen. Valeria is mostly photographed in the middle distance where most tv shows are photographed. And the filmmakers used, inevitably, a lot of long shots for the El Chivo plot as he prowls the city and looks for his daughter and his victims from a distance. Iñárritu and Prieto also chose different film stocks for the different plots, a bluer film for the Octavio and El Chivo plots and a warmer tone for Valeria. As for the crucial car crash, Iñárritu staged it only once, but he used nine cameras” (Holland). This film was one of the best films I have seen. This movie catches your attention for all the two and a half hours that it’s long. It captures the three sad stories in such a melancholic and aesthetic way. All the dog blood and violence within the dog fight is part of that aesthetics. The movie presents Mexico’s City atmosphere with people in upper class and lower. I personally do not watch many movies, but his film has defiantly been one of the best movies I’ve seen so far.
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