The film “Chupa” introduces an adorable creature, Chupa, who is a combination of a puppy, a cat, and wings, and is bound to win hearts with its cute appearance and charming personality. This character stands out in a movie that otherwise relies on cliches and lacks ambition, directed by Jonás Cuarón, who co-wrote the critically acclaimed “Gravity” with his father, Alfonso Cuarón.
The film is set in the 1990s and follows a bullied kid named Alex, who discovers Chupa while staying with his grandfather and cousins in Mexico. The creature is being hunted by a poacher and could be of great economic value, but Alex forms a bond with it, which helps him to come out of his shell and learn about Mexican culture.
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While the movie’s predictability is intended to be charming, it falls short of making a deeper emotional connection with its audience. The story’s simplicity does not provide much room for character development, and the bond between Alex and Chupa feels underdeveloped.
Despite this, the cast, including Demián Bechir as Alex’s grandfather, does their best to inject life into the film’s weak and cliched scenes. Christian Slater, who plays the villainous poacher, is one of the weakest links in the cast and struggles to bring depth to his character.
The film’s cinematography is impressive, with Nico Aguilar’s camera work seamlessly moving between shot styles without cutting. However, this smart technique can’t fully make up for the lack of nuance in the script, which pretends that kids can’t handle more complex emotional scenes.
In conclusion, while Chupa is an endearing character, the film that surrounds it is forgettable and relies too heavily on familiar tropes. The movie’s predictability may entertain younger viewers, but the emotional tissue that connects the audience to the story is thin, and the cast’s performances can only do so much to compensate for this.