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Tuesday, 21 December 2010 at 7.30pm
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With its wealth of hard-bitten characters, intertwining complex plot and nearly three-hour running time, director Alejandro González Iñárritu's internationally acclaimed and multi-award-winning debut feature is bound to invite spurious comparisons to Pulp Fiction. But this absorbing Mexican marvel - one of the highest-grossing Latin American releases of all time - eschews such deliberate Quentin Tarantino-esque quirkiness to emerge as a startling original in its own right. How a fatal car accident impacts on the disparate lives of a slum teenager (Gael García Bernal) involved in illegal dog fights, a magazine editor (Alvaro Guerrero) who leaves his wife for a perfume campaign model and an ex-con tramp-turned-hired assassin (Emilio Echevarría) is expertly fashioned by Iñárritu into a stunning rumination on the traumas and desperation of love and desire. Shot completely with a hand-held camera, and gaining enormous documentary-style immediacy from this in-your-face device, the film is a uniquely twisted romantic tragedy, a truly exhilarating masterpiece with an extraordinary emotional range and hard-hitting power: it's suspenseful, shocking, disturbing and ultimately very moving. Iñárritu's constant cascade of indelible images makes for an incredible film-going experience that lingers in the memory long after the final credits have rolled.


Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu