Starring: Michèle Caucheteux, Jean-Claude Donda, Michel Robin
Director: Sylvain Chomet
Running Time: 80 mins
The Triplets Of Belleville (Les triplettes de Belleville) is a French film about an elderly woman who embarks on an epic journey to rescue her beloved son, who was kidnapped by the mafia during the Tour de France.
Right, this is a strange film to say the least. It’s got a very disturbing animation style that comes together with an extreme lack of dialogue to be a pretty uneasy watch right the way through, and then when you realise how horrifically dark the first two acts of the movie are, it’s not a pleasant watch, although you still can’t look away.
I think the main thing to say about this film is that it’s not for kids. (I speak from personal experience, having been shown this at the age of 7 and feeling really upset by it.)
Instead, the main chunk of the plot is about a man whose dream turn sour when he is kidnapped, and then the desperate search that his mother and the family dog carry out in order to retrieve him.
As a result, the first two acts of the film are desperately depressing. Despite the fact that this is undoubtedly a black comedy, there is barely even a flicker of hope in the first hour of the story. It’s constantly downbeat, and even in the moments where it seems as if things are going well, it still has this extremely unnerving and pretty upsetting tone to it that makes it a very hard watch.
What I’m basically saying about this, then, is that it’s a film that hurts. Emotionally, it’s devastating from time to time, but it’s just the fact that there is such a constant atmosphere of despair and hopelessness that never seems to be close to ending that makes it really hit home to make an unpleasant, but still oddly engrossing watch.
Despite that, the final act does have a slightly lighter, more comedic tone to it, and although that did lift my spirits a bit, I also found myself losing interest as it became a bit sillier. In the end, it really is the extremely unique darkness to the film, whether it be in the actual content of the story, or the bizarre and disturbing animation style, that’s most appealing and interesting, so that’s why The Triplets Of Belleville gets a 7.8 from me.