In a serious car accident in the middle of Mexico City, three lives (and their connections) collide. Octavio (Gael Garcia Bernal) is a teenager whose dog, Cofi, gets him embroiled in illegal dog fighting. He wants to run away with his brother’s wife, Susana (Vanessa Bauche). He is driving the car, fleeing enemies from the dog fight with Cofi in the backseat, when the accident happens. Daniel (Alvaro Guerrero) is a 42 year old married man with a family who falls in love with a beautiful model, Valeria (Goya Toledo) and it is on the day he moves in with her that Valeria is involved in the car accident. El Chivo (Emilio Echevarria) is one of the pedestrians on the spot at the time of the crash, an ex communist and ex-prisoner now a dishevelled tramp – and part time assassin. He saves the badly wounded Cofi, takes him home (to join his other dogs) and nurses him back to life. For each of these characters, love is a very complex thing, offering much more than simple joy.
 

4
An impressive debut feature.

In the first story Octavio - the immensely charismatic Gael Garcia Bernal - discovers the fighting abilities of his violent brother`s dog, a rottweiler called Cofi, and by entering the dog in fights hopes to make enough money to elope with his brother`s young wife Susana - Vanessa Bauche.

The film, which shifts time, actually opens with an exhilaratingly raw car chase which climaxes this story. In the second story well-to-do Luis - Jorge Salinas - leaves his wife and family to set up house with model Valeria - Goya Toledo. Her little dog Richie disappears through a hole in the floorboards and can be heard scuttling around - or is it the rats that Valeria can hear? She`s actually been damaged by the car accident that connects to the first story..... And the third story concerns a former revolutionary El Chivu - Emilio Echevarria - who abandoned his family years ago and now longs to connect with his estranged daughter. He`s a street bum who looks after a pack of dogs and who has become a hitman for hire. These seemingly disparate stories are connected by style and theme, as well as fate.

This very impressive debut feature, balances melodrama and raw realism, using hand held cinematography to vast effect. For all its dramatic externals it is an intensely human film. The dog fighting scenes are certainly confronting, and women don`t fare too well in the film either. But for all that I found Amores Perros a stunningly talented film debut - it`s been compared to Pulp Fiction but I think it goes beyond post-modern chic.Comments from David StrattonVery much under the influence of Tarantino, this debut from Mexican director Alejandro Gonzales Inarritu unfolds three connected stories with considerable flair. The middle story which most people seem to like least I think is the best of the three - the irony of the husband who leaves wife and family for the beautiful model, only to have her crippled almost immediately - and the Bunuel-ish idea of the dog trapped under the floorboards. The dog-fighting scenes in the first story will be hard to take for animal lovers. The film is a bit too long, but the director`s talent for story-telling is very evident.