I don’t know much about Mexican cinema apart from what they showed us in high school such as Y Tu Mamá También or El Mariachi. But I do know Alejandro González Iñárritu who is one of the best directors and, of course, I know Gael García Bernal who is one of my favorite actors – when you mix these two, you get a VERY good movie like Amores Perros.
Amores Perros contains three interconnected stories about three different strata of life in Mexico City. We follow Octavio who tries to raise money to run away with his sister-in-law he is in love with and he, therefore, engages in dogfighting, which eventually goes bad. The second story is about El Chivo, who is an old homeless man who cares for stray dogs and has a painful past involving his family. The third story involves a famous model Valeria and her secret lover Daniel who just move into their new apartment in Mexico City. After Octavio’s dogfight went south, he tried to escape from the other participants, running a red light and causing a car accident, which affects all three aforementioned stories.
Amores Perros shows different kinds of lives in an enormous city like Mexico City, which includes homeless people, violence, dogfights but also big TV stars who live glamorous lives. I don’t know personally how Mexico City is but, for me, it seems like a realistic representation of reality in such a big city. I love that the script is very loyal to the culture and what I appreciate the most is the brilliant and natural acting from beginning to end. However, if you really love dogs, like myself, be aware of some very harsh scenes including injured dogs and very aggressive and bloody dog fights.
Mexicans have a saying “If you want to make God laugh, tell him your plans” (maybe others have the same saying, but I heard it from a Mexican) and we witness exactly that in Amores Perros. The characters all had ambitions and plans but they didn’t turn out how they wanted, and it is shown in a way we can relate to even though we do not necessarily relate to their environment. Not many directors and writers can achieve that effect but Iñárritu’s talent is phenomenal, and, in my opinion, Amores Perros is one of his best movies and I dare to say that it’s better than Birdman and The Revenant.
I loved Amores Perros and it most definitely deserves 5 out of 5 clapperboards because it is truly a masterpiece that challenges the audience by showcasing reality in Mexico City. Although the English translation of the title is Love Is a Bitch, the movie shows more than tragic love – it shows you how life can be a bitch.