The Flying Trunk
Director: Siddharth Chauhan
The Flying Trunk is a 13-minute storybook-like tale of a magical case that can take the characters wherever they want to go within the small village of Shimla, located in the lower Himalayas of India. Although the concept of the film was fascinating, the plot failed to venture outside of the trunk. We remained confined within a thin storyline similar to how the flying trunk itself is limited to the confines of a small village.
Let me elaborate.
Recap of The Flying Trunk
The film begins with a voiceover. The grandmother, who villagers regard as crazy, recounts the origin tale of the flying trunk to her grandson. We overlook the beautiful village of Simla, feeling the beauty and wonder of flying above the town.
Then we are brought down to earth to view the world through the grandson’s eyes. This is where the wonder of the film wears right off.
I felt quite indifferent to the film after I finished viewing it.
The storytelling element of the story was fascinating but I just wasn’t able to connect to and understand the significance of the flying trunk.
The story reveals that the grandfather used the trunk for carpentry, the father used it for recreation and then, the son used it out of curiosity. Unless the big message is that items become less important over time, I simply don’t connect with the ongoing fascination with the trunk.
Being able to fly is a superpower but how do the characters in the story use it? How do they improve their life or others’ lives? We don’t see any of that in this film. The “adventure” that this film takes you on feels meaningless.
If the significance of a flying trunk is being able to explore the world then why does it stop working when it’s outside of the village?
The transitions from scene to scene are abrupt and not all of the scenes made sense within the big picture.
I wish there was a deeper insight into this world, the characters, and the power of the flying trunk rather than just mentioning its existence.
A Different Perspective of The Flying Trunk
I read another review of The Flying Trunk.
This review has a very beautiful, dignifying perspective of the movie. Lucy Clarke, the author of this review, interprets the flying trunk as not a majestic object, but rather a symbol of grief. The boy and his grandmother grieve the loss of their loved ones by remembering them in this fantastical, mythical light.
I adore this perspective although I didn’t relate to the film in the same way. If the intention of the director, Siddharth Chauhan, was for the flying trunk to simply be a nostalgic symbol then it came off as very vague. By the end of the movie, I still very much expected the trunk to take off flying with some very low-budget special effects.
The Original Story of The Flying Trunk
Upon further research into The Flying Trunk, I discovered that this film is actually derived from an older tale that you can read here.
Originally written by Danish author, Hans Christian Andersen, the story of The Flying Trunk originated in 1839.
Filled with enchanting storytelling and moral lessons on financial wisdom and greed, the original Flying Trunk was everything that this modern film version of the story wasn’t. If this film had stayed a little closer to the original tale, I think it would have produced a more engaging story. I love a good fantasy story and was yearning to see more fantasy elements in the film version of The Flying Trunk.
Besides the overall lack of a feeling of significance, The Flying Trunk was quite impressive for an independent film. I enjoyed the voiceovers, camera angles, and drone shots. It was well done and had some captivating moments. But in terms of the story and the plotline, I was left clueless about the significance of the main figures in the story and left disappointed by the neglect of fantastical elements.
What are your thoughts on The Flying Trunk? Let me know in the comments below!
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Peace, love, and lots of popcorn,