Starting off with a shocking and unconventional sequence, The Untamed doesn’t let anyone down in its approach in challenging the audience with surreal yet very interesting imagery about repression, pleasure and traditional values.
Mexican director Amat Escalante’s film portrays a place where internal conflicts arise – particularly those connected with sex and self-expression, such as homophobia or hypocrisy. Although a complex movie, the plot centres on four main characters: Alejandra and her husband, Alex, her brother Fabián and the melancholic and socially awkward Veronica, played by Simone Bucio. Their lives are permanently affected by a creature that lands on Earth to give pleasure to human beings. The truth about this statement can vary sometimes, though, from character to character. Not every individual is prepared to have this experience, which often results in death instead of relief after the sexual encounter with the alien.
On top of this, we deal with the aftermath of Fabián and Alex’s affair, which takes a on violent tone, with Alex’s reaction being the most severe. He doesn’t seem to accept himself as a gay man, and takes every chance he has to despise everything that has to do with homosexuality.
This is certainly a striking movie that explores the darkest side of human nature, the one that comes up when we ignore our instincts and intrinsic desires. Escalante has earned a notorious reputation at European festivals for being a controversial director, and this piece reflects the thought-provoking tone of his work perfectly.
The city of Guajanato is the place chosen to be immortalised not only in this story but most of Escalante’s tales, a city entangled in the contradiction of being beautiful and violent at the same time, wild in nature but restrained by men. Through the cinematography we therefore encounter magnificent natural scenery against the city life of a bar on a Friday night.
Lovers of thrilling social dramas with a sci-fi touch will certainly enjoy this bizarre yet captivating narrative.
The Untamed is released nationwide on 18th August 2017.
Watch the trailer for The Untamed here: