''You and your plans. You know what my grandmother used to say? If you want to make God laugh... tell Him your plans. ''
A horrific car accident connects three stories, each involving characters dealing with loss, regret, and life's harsh realities, all in the name of love.
Emilio Echevarría: El Chivo
Gael García Bernal: Octavio
Goya Toledo: Valeria
Amores Perros tells the stories of El Chivo, of Octavio, of the relationship between Valeria and Daniel, each starting before the crash and ending soon after it. First, Octavio is introduced to the audience as young man who desires to be with and runaway with his sister-in-law. As luck would have it, Octavio has the opportunity to earn large sums of money with the help of his dog, Cofi, in order to do so. Cofi then wins more than fifteen dogfights for Octavio until he is shot by a jealous rival of his owner. After this, Octavio tries to save his dogs life and speeds away in the condemned car. During this story, we are introduced to Daniel. An advertiser, Daniel plans to leave his wife in order to pursue a relationship with an up-and-coming model, Valeria. In the process, we learn that Daniel has given up everything for the romantic affair. Later, El Chivo is introduced to us, an ex-Zapatista revolutionary and supporter, who is now nothing more than a poverty-stricken man in the company of dogs. More so, we quickly learn that El Chivo is now a hit-man who was once a husband and father. All of these stories progress until the moment of the crash.
After the violent crash, we learn of the faced perdition of the three lives. Octavio's sister-in-law betrays him and escapes with his earnings from the dog fights, effectively ending the sordid affair. The accident cuts off one of Valeria's legs and causes insufferable tension between her and Daniel. Additionally, as a witness to the crash, El Chivo saves the life of Cofi, who later kills his only company as a poor man, his dogs. Finally, the three become stranded and alone. Octavio, embarrassed, leaves his house due to his betrayal of his sister-in-law. Valeria dies due to complications associated with the loss of her leg, and Daniel loses his family and his lover. Also, El Chivo loses his substitute family in the street dogs. The three are entwined as the ultimate victims of life and love.
This film receives many merits, not simply due to the three unique stories, but due to the collaboration of artistic and cinematic elements.
Inarritu, with many others, creates a unique original atmosphere surrounding the three stories. A chosen blend of rap, jazz, alternative rock, and instrumentals compose the soundtrack.
This masterful mix allows the audience to understand the pace of such a city, as Mexico City, the velocity of violent and dramatic actions, as well as the spectrum of emotions amongst each of the characters.
As with the cinematography has a similar effect for showing the diversity of the situations and actions.
Inarritu makes use of various lenses for creating the atmosphere of distinct areas of the city, in order to explain the different tensions and stresses. Many of the scenes where we see Octavio and El Chivo, the atmosphere is dirty, gritty, and void of colour. In scenes with Valeria, all appears clear and clinical. The city appears modern and cleansed and the sky full of smog, showing us the differences between society's created classes.
These elements blend with the story and the performances to create the film. The story is central to the masterpiece. It deals with the theme of a crash as the only means able to touch the life of another in a large city. Through the crash, Inarritu uses the presence of dogs to connect the lives and to accentuate the phrase love's a bitch. In the end, all of the story's aspects depend on the performances and appearances of the characters. We feel their suffering and struggle when we see each person lose their happiness.
Octavio loses his dog and money because he was preoccupied with a woman who betrayed him.Valeria understands that her career is ended as a model because she no longer appears beautiful, and El Chivo realizes that his former company of street dogs had been serving as his lost family. Characters are terraformed into memories conveyed of themselves, lost and alone in their world.
I recommend this film to all who would want to see a piece of genius that combines varied strokes of style, of art.