WILD [London Film Festival]

PrintE-mail Written by Peter Turner

This might not be the film called Wild that you are looking for. There's no Reese Witherspoon hiking an enormous trail across America in this German curio about a woman who gets back to nature in her very own exotic manner. Witherspooon’s Wild was a worthy Oscar-winner that bagged her a Best Actress Academy Award. It’s safe to say that this new Wild will not be bagging actress Lilith Stangenberg anything more than a head examination. With a hospitalised grandfather and downright rude boss, Stangenberg plays Ania, a woman who is feeling rather distant from the world when she comes across a wolf in the wild near her home.

Ania quickly becomes obsessed with the beautiful, but potentially dangerous beast, stalking it and then finally deciding to capture it and make it her own. While the wolf refuses to be tamed, Ania finds her own inner beast coming out as she begins a sometimes icky, often surreal and even slightly sexual relationship with her new ‘pet’.

Wild certainly lives up to its title as it progresses. Ania’s hair grows shaggier, her apartment becomes messier and soon the film delivers on-screen menstrual blood, cum, piss and shit. It sounds wild, and there's definitely a shocking element but whether it's all supposed to be as laughable as it is, is debatable. By the time love songs are being played over one bedroom scene, followed by an amusingly lengthy demonstration of self-satisfaction involving a stair banister, Wild will probably leave you questioning the tone, and just how deliberately ridiculous it all is.

As Ania loses her inhibitions, Wild loses the plot. If Fight Club’s answer to the emasculation of modern man was bare knuckle brawling, Wild’s answer to contemporary society’s repressed women is to let a wolf into your pants… quite literally. It’s yet another film that draws some kind of strange connection between wolves and women, but doesn’t really have anything much to say about it like some decent horror films have attempted like Ginger Snaps.

There’s no doubt that some scenes in Wild are supposed to be funny, but writer/director Nicolette Krebitz juggles these with an overall more serious tone. Throw in some splashes of pretty shocking images featuring the aforementioned bodily fluids, and Wild adds up to something undoubtedly unique and out-there, but also a film that lacks a great deal of narrative sense. So while it's definitely not a tame film, Wild could certainly have done with being a little more controlled.


Expected Rating: 5 out of 10

Actual Rating:

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