By Mark Saldana
Rating: 4 (Out of 4 Stars)
For the piece de resistance, Jean Laurer and her programmers picked an awesome gem of a film to close out the festival. This import from Paraguay had me thoroughly engaged and invested in its story and characters from start to finish. Of all the films I saw during Cine Las Americas 16, this one is my absolute favorite. I sincerely hope and pray that this film gets the international attention it truly deserves.
The film focuses on a day in the life of Victor (Celso Franco), a wheelbarrow delivery boy trying to make some quick cash working in a crowded marketplace. Victor dreams of one day becoming famous, but would be happy if he could simply purchase a “fancy” mobile phone with video capabilities. When a local butcher offers him a job of delivering seven boxes for one hundred U.S. dollars, it is an offer he cannot refuse. However, once he takes possession of the mystery boxes, his life would never again be the same
7 Cajas has a wonderful mix of all the right elements which make a movie great. Expect thrills, suspense, action, comedy and sweet romance. The movie is definitely an edge of the seat nail-biter that might even make audience members sweat in unison with the characters in the film. Directors Juan Carlos Maneglia and Tana Schlembori deserve high praise for this cinematic feast of thrills and applaud-worthy comedy. Kudos should also be given to Tito Chamorro who wrote the screenplay with Maneglia. The film features superb performances by Celso Franco, Lali Gonzales who portrays Victor’s friend Liz, as well as an amazing supporting cast. I am not sure where this film will eventually land, but if ever given the chance to see it, it is one not to miss.