Movie review of ‘The Triplets of Belleville’ (2003) dir. Sylvain Chomet
The film I want to write about this evening is the brilliant & mind-boggling ‘The Triplets of Belleville’ by animation master Sylvain Chomet.
I have watched this film well over fifty times, each time attempting to articulate my thoughts on this near wordless masterpiece of modern cinema, yet come the credits I haven’t put a word to paper. The flawlessly original nature of this film can be quite overwhelming at times, as can the rule-breaking, grotesque yet altogether genius character animation.
While ‘The Triplets of Belleville’ contains animation pushed to its absolute extremes & with the audience having their senses bombarded from start to finish, ‘The Triplets of Belleville’ is also a film that contains a myriad of subtleties & nuances. It is so rare to find a film that can be subtle while at the same time pushing the audience at every step with staggering imagery that exists in almost the complete absence of dialogue.
What I am utterly impressed by & honestly quite flabbergasted by from the first seconds of this film is the unbelievable, absurd & slightly surreal character design & styling. Moreover, the character design is not done without need, nor does it exist simply to push boundaries within the animation world. Each & every character, with their sometimes ridiculous design, serves the ultimate purpose of portraying the true, core nature of every character. It is in this regard that Chomet has been able to execute an almost dialogue free film with such power & authority, with the pace of the film never dropping off beat for a second.
Chomet has created a masterpiece in visual storytelling with ‘The Triplets of Belleville’, & even though I am a professional animator & have watched & analysed many animate films, ‘The Triplets of Belleville’ shocks & inspires me every single time I watch it.