A meteorite crashes onto an isolated mountain somewhere in Mexico. Meanwhile Alejandra and Angel are trying to salvage their unhappy marriage. When these two disparate elements collide, there’ll be consequences for all.
Amat Escalante returns to the director’s chair after his blistering HELI with a film that begs not to be discussed. A blistering drama that mixes Mexican social realism with Zulawski-esque science fiction, THE UNTAMED is easily one of the most exciting films of 2016, as well as among the most unique.
A meteorite crashes onto an isolated mountain somewhere in Mexico. At the same time, Alejandra and Angel are living with their young sons in Mexico, enduring an unhappy marriage. Angel is a macho figure, full of swagger and testosterone, but behind the patriarchal façade, he’s heavily involved in an affair with Alejandra’s brother. Alejandra is deeply unhappy but cannot pinpoint what the solution will be. A chance encounter with a loner name Verónica will change her entire world. Because Verónica has a secret. And this secret is both the solution and the catalyst to their world going off course. Nothing will remain the same.
Opening with a brave and shocking sequence which immediately establishes the tone of the film, Escalante goes on to create a shocking critique of the social state of Mexico. The deeply established macho culture, ingrained homophobia, domestic abuse and much, much more are skewered with a science fiction slant that is so outlandish that it’s impossible to not be impressed.
Blessed with stunningly natural performances, Amante explores the shifting dynamics of the relationships without ever going for any easy answers. The ever-present threat of violence and the suppression of sexuality meld to give a sense of Mexico as a barrel of gunpowder just waiting for a spark to explode. The unease of the first half gives way to something inexplicable and as the film hurtles towards its unexpected conclusion, there’s no doubt as to the talent behind creating such a vivid, crazy world in such brilliant, carefully planned strokes.
Once seen, never forgotten, THE UNTAMED is guaranteed to make the audience go wild, and proves that the director is a master of his craft with an unparalleled vision of madness and Mexico deserving to be seen on the big screen. (Evrim Ersoy)