Three intense stories about love and dogs. A young man in love (lust?) with his brothers wife, uses his brother's dog in fights to raise money to steal her away. A just-discovered model gets in a car accident and begins losing her grip on reality. A down-and-out assassin does one more job while pining for his lost daughter. Any one of these stories is enough to fill a film, but together, it makes for an intense two and a half hours.
Director Inaritu keeps it all cinematic, even though the plot could lose that focus. He mixes up the stories and pumps up the intensity and gives us a variety of music that highlights both the similarities and differences in the stories.
In the end, it all seems to be about humans fruitlessly fighting against fate. But that sounds so depressing and dull and the movie is not really that. Because our protagonists are complicated, we both love and hate them, and we wonder if their futures are better or worse for having gone through the drama of these stories.