7 Boxes Movie Review (7 Cajas, 2012) – Paraguayan Film

7 Boxes (original title 7 Cajas) is an Adventure
and Crime movie released in 2012, directed
by Tana Schémbori and Juan Carlos Maneglia.
A young man is hired to carry 7 shady boxes
in his wheelbarrow, but the job becomes much
dangerous than it seemed.
Hello, there!
I’m dos Santos, and this is Ulven Reviews,
with Movies and series from all over the world
and all eras.
Today we’ll talk about 7 Boxes, beginning
with a plot summary, through the review, and
finishing with a symbolic Rating.
Here we go!
Víctor (played by Celso Franco) works in
the Municipal Market 4 in the city of Asunción,
transporting in his wheelbarrow whatever the
client bought there.
He competes for clients with Nelson (played
by Víctor Sosa), an older man with questionable
The young worker is always fascinated by movies,
imagining himself in the place of the actors.
So, when his sister Tamara (played by Nelly
Dávalos) shows him a fancy cellphone with
a camera, he falls in love but doesn’t have
enough money to buy it.
Meanwhile, Nelson is also desperately in need
of money, and it’s a life or death case for
His young son has a health issue, and the
medicine is extremely expensive for

a man
of his income.
During the hot and sunny afternoon, Víctor
tries to finds clients so he can get the money
for the cellphone when an opportunity arrives.
He goes to a slaughterhouse to meet Gus (played
by Roberto Cardozo), who sends him out with
seven boxes and a borrowed cellphone.
The boy has to get the boxes away and wait
for further instructions from Gus on the phone.
However, this job was supposed to be Nelson’s,
but since he was late, Gus hired Víctor.
Don Darío (played by Paletita), Gus’s boss,
agrees with Nelson that it’s too dangerous
to leave the boxes in the hands of an unknown
and authorizes Nelson to go after Víctor
and the crates.
So, Víctor, with the valuable help of his
friend Liz (played by Lali Gonzalez), tries
to keep the job to get paid.
However, the task will be much more dangerous
than he previously imagined.
I watched 7 Boxes many years ago, and I didn’t
remember much about it.
When I watched it again recently to do the
review, it was almost like as was watching
it for the first time.
I am very glad I took the time to enjoy this
film again.
I can’t say the plot is complicated.
In summary, the premise is: some criminals
hire an unsuspicious worker to take a stroll
with incriminating shit while the police are
closely investigating, and everything goes
out of control from there.
This simple idea is executed perfectly, and
the story is remarkably well told.
Many layers are added to the simple premise
throughout the movie, and every subplot converges
in a common point.
It’s marvelous storytelling.
I love how things that seem murky at first
are revealed later, making the story increasingly
more intriguing.
Some details are not spoonfed through expository
dialogue, and others are not explained at
However, if you’re paying attention, you’ll
get it.
The movie is relatively short and fast-paced,
but it never felt rushed or frantic, which
would be really annoying.
Everything flows smoothly from beginning to
end, making it pleasant and fun to watch.
7 Boxes is fun as an adventure full of well-crafted
action, compelling situations, competent characters,
and settings (that we’ll get back to soon
But one of the best things that was also a
surprise to me was the humor.
Driven notably by Don Darío and Luis (played
by Nico García), the film had lots of funny
moments without harming its tone and flow.
So, besides the themes transiting around criminality
and poverty, it has a light and comic approach
to it.
Here, we have a rare case in which I like
all the characters.
The one I appreciated the least was Nelson
because he is a piece of shit.
However, we know his motivation is not pure
greed, but his son.
Victor is a decent protagonist, but he doesn’t
have enough qualities or a driving force to
make him the best character.
He’s smart, hard-working, and a dreamer, but
I felt even in these traits, he lacks passion.
A surprising character to me was Officer Servián
(played by Manu Portillo), introduced as a
horny inconvenient officer, his role gains
more importance from the midpoint on.
He makes a nice duo with Sargent Osório (played
by Mario Toñanez).
And talking about duos, Darío and Luis are
among my favorite characters.
The crime partners have some great interactions
and dialogues, and, as I previously mentioned,
they’re very funny, despite being vicious
However, my favorite character, by quite a
large margin, was Liz.
She’s also funny, plus she’s tenacious (sometimes
even stubborn), intelligent and altruistic.
She really brightens the movie and is a perfect
All the performances are quite alright, but
nothing too remarkable on the positive side.
On the negative, though.
There are some minor characters, with only
few lines of dialogue that were extremely
There was one girl that even the look on her
face was bad.
Well, moving on, I loved the make-up and costumes,
mainly of two characters.
At first glance, you might think it’s just
regular clothing of the people of that area
of Asunción, and for the most part, it’s
a correct assumption.
Pero, Luis, and Liz are completely different
than the actors who play them.
Nico García, who plays Luis, doesn’t have
those teeth and actually has hair.
In general, he’s a more handsome man than
his character.
The same can be said about Lali Gonzalez,
a beautiful and fully-grown woman, different
than her role, Liz, a plain-looking teenager.
All of these characterizations fit perfectly
with the narrow and chaotic setting of the
The streets filled with tents on both sides,
making a corridor that was flawless for the
To me, that setting felt very familiar as
I went to Paraguay many years ago, and I could
swear I saw in the movie a bar where I drank
a Budweiser and eat a cheese platter (I wasn’t
vegan back then).
It wasn’t the same bar, because I’ve never
been to Asunción.
But still, the settings of the film brought
me some nice memories of the adventures I
went through in Paraguay.
Another enjoyable element was the cinematography,
although not perfect for my taste.
The colors not only matched the sunny environment
but also enhanced the sensation of being hot
and sweaty.
The lighting is always well lit, and even
when in dark places, there’s an excellent
use of shadows and silhouettes.
The place where I felt slightly turned off,
regarding the cinematography, was some instances
of the camera work.
Sometimes it’s really good-looking and compelling,
but other times when the temperature of the
action goes higher, it’s way too shaky.
The score is average.
I really enjoyed the moments when there’s
more of a local sound to it.
However, when it gets to instances where they
go to a more traditional cinematic sound,
it gets very subpar.
The conclusion of the movie was satisfactory
and a little bitter-sweet.
The bitter-sweetness is what makes it better,
showing it’s not a film of Disney Princesses
and happily ever after.
The only thing I think lacked was to show
some characters a little more in the ending,
but that’s a minor detail.
7 Boxes is a remarkable and entertaining film.
If you still didn’t watch it, I highly suggest
you give it a go.
It’s not a perfect movie, but it’s highly
I’ll rate 7 Boxes (A.K.A. 7 Cajas) 8 Moons.
That’s it for now.
Thanks for watching.
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