Runs Fri., Feb. 21–Thurs., Feb. 27 at SIFF Cinema Uptown. Not rated. 105 minutes.
This is the story of a seemingly unremarkable teen named Victor (Celso Franco) who wants to rise above his station in life, which happens to be as a delivery boy in a Paraguayan market. The first step toward fame and fortune, he believes, is acquiring an expensive camera-phone so he can make movies. The only problem is that Victor is poor—then circumstance puts a $100 payday within his reach. All he has to do is wheel the titular cargo around the marketplace. It is, of course, not that simple. Victor soon finds himself fleeing angry thugs and avoiding capture by the police. He proves elusive, inventive, and, to the film’s benefit, quite likable. Comparisons to Slumdog Millionaire are unavoidable, but 7 Boxes is much more gritty and believable than Danny Boyle’s tale of class jumping in India. The chase scenes are sometimes more gripping, too—even though most involve a wheelbarrow. Directors Juan Carlos Maneglia and Tana Schémbori succeed in creating a thriller that doesn’t need a big budget or Hollywood flash to create suspense. Will Victor get his money? And what’s in those boxes anyway? You’ll stick around to see.