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TIFF 2016 Review: The Untamed

If instead of giving out the Grolsch People’s Choice Award, TIFF handed out the WTF did I watch Award, (We’ll just slide this one into the suggestion box), the 2016 winner would be hands-down Amat Escalante’s The Untamed.

So if a movie features self-immolation via tentacle in the first five minutes of the film and then becomes even more bizarre afterwards, would this be considered to be a selling point? In The Untamed the scenes of an unhappy union appear to be based in reality, and the truly disturbing aspects exist in a sort of parallel realm, but this analysis perhaps extrapolates too much, as well as stating that the film is an examination of regressive attitudes towards homosexuality and misogyny in Escalante’s native Mexico, (which it may well be.)

Suffice it to say that this winner of a Silver Lion runner-up Director’s prize at Venice surely is watchable throughout. Expecting to make sense of some sort of cohesive narrative structure may be something of a stretch. But if you do suspect, please let us know!

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