Amores perros (2000)



Alejandro González Iñárritu




Gael García Bernal, Álvaro Guerrero, Goya Toledo, Vanessa Bauche, Emilio Echevarría, Jorge Salinas, Marco Pérez, Rodrigo Murray, Humberto Busto, Gerardo Campbell, Rosa María Bianchi, Dunia Saldívar, Adriana Barraza, José Sefami, Lourdes Echevarría


Three stories of life along the margins in Mexico City resolve with a fatal car accident. Octavio (Gael García Bernal) is trying to raise enough money to run away with his sister-in-law (Vanessa Bauche), and decides to enter his dog Cofi into the world of dogfighting. After a dogfight goes bad, Octavio flees in his car, running a red light and causing the accident. Daniel (Álvaro Guerrero) and Valeria's (Goya Toledo) newfound bliss is prematurely ended when she loses her leg in the accident. El Chivo (Emilio Echevarría) is a homeless man who cares for stray dogs and is there to witness the collision.


Debut feature of a young Mexican director who turned out to be a superb filmmaker, Amores perros is a pure, violent, angry, bitter yet poetic and sensual picture of human life.

Central figure of the film, as the title suggests, is that of the dog, that in each of the three stories perfectly represents its protagonists. Furious as the protagonists of the first story that pulls their animals into fights, and are not able to respect life in all its forms. Naive and helpless as the model of the second story, a beautiful metaphor of today's woman, grew up in a society that consider her an object. And lastly, stray and wandering as their owner in search for redemption, author of a spectacular final monologue.

Mexico City, imprinted in the harrowing photography by Rodrigo Prieto, causes a collision between the rich and easy lives of Daniel and Valeria and those drifted of Octavio, Ramiro, and Susana, right on the day everyone believes happiness is within reach, thus changing the course of their lives forever.

In addition to the dogs, and the city, the other figure that stands out is that of El Chivo, present in all the stories, that seems to try merge the two worlds, that, however, can me united only be the love for dogs, and the sense of abandonment.

Besides from the superb writing, direction and narrative structure that everyone seems to mention, I'd like to point out the outstanding soundtrack, a dramatic mix of Hispanic rock-rap tracks.

The dogfighting scenes are noteworthy. Raw, and hard to watch - problem that doesn't arise when it comes to humans fighting -, the editing behind those sequences is spectacular, since dogs were actually just playing.

The acting is the cherry on top. Gael García Bernal is, as always, brilliant and charismatic, he gives a great portrayal of Octavio and he's able to capture the audience's attention like nobody else. However, the real star here is Emilio Echevarría, who pulls off an astonishing transformation and gives an outstanding performance as El Chivo. Vanessa Bauche and Marco Pérez prived great support to García. Goya Toledo fully captures her spoiled character, and Álvaro Guerrero wonderfully humanizes his.


El Chivo: At the time, I thought there were more important things than being with you and your mom. I wanted to set the world right, and then share it with you. I failed, as you can see.


  1. We once watched that movie in school but I had to leave the room because I just couldn't watch the dogfighting scenes.

    1. I closed my eyes during those scenes because I couldn't watch that. Too brutal.

  2. Yes, the dog fighting scenes are brutal, but so so necessary. Great film and yes, Inarritu turned out to be a fabulous filmmaker.