Beautiful boxtrolls, perplexing plot
After watching Laika Studioâ€™s â€śCoralineâ€ť and â€śParanorman,â€ť I had high expectations for â€śThe Boxtrollsâ€ť. While the film did meet some standards like visual extravaganza, its plot was too disconnected for the movie to make sense and was spread thin over innate complexities of characters and underlying messages.
â€śThe Boxtrollsâ€ť, set in gloomy, fictional Victoriana, starts with the Red Hats, evil boxtroll exterminators, chasing the boxtrolls as they take a baby (Isaac Hempstead Wright) to their underground dwelling. Over time, this baby, now named â€śEggsâ€ť, grows under the affectionate care of the boxtrolls, adopting their crude manners. Throughout the film, the boxtrolls are persecuted by the Red Hats as the townâ€™s common belief holds that the boxtrolls are evil monsters that eat innocent babies. With these persecutions escalating, Eggs, now a young boy, is determined to change that false notion.
Despite the heavy reliance on gray tones and a grimy, Industrial-era aesthetic, the visuals were childishly charming yet grotesquely fascinating from the hypnotic motions of characters to the striking details. The same could be said for the humor, as it wasnâ€™t loud and obnoxious, but instead smart with a childlike sense to it all that certainly kept me laughing through some scenes. However, the comedy was limited to a few occasions in order to make room for the emotionally-driven scenes that tugged at the viewersâ€™ heartstrings.
Still, I wouldâ€™ve liked more comedic scenes as the dramatic ones caused the film to stray on various thematic tangents like identity, greed and morality. Thus, there were characters that served no real purpose to the film itself, other than to add meaningless twists.
Aside from the staccato plot and overuse of messages and characters, I found this film endearing and fitting for autumn with the fantastic visuals and witty humour.
By Nikita Patel, Scene editor