There’s a fantastic 2001 film by Richard Linklater titled Tape which revolves around three high school friends dissecting painful memories of their school years inside a Michigan motel room. The dim monotonous scenery never changes but the actors and superb writing carry the entire narrative with gripping suspense. How is this relevant? A character driven story needs strong characters and a strong script. While Blessing of the Campanella by no means tries to be anything like Tape (or anything remotely similar), it does rely on its characters to engage the audience and deliver the drama and humor.
This may sound like common sense. After all, isn’t that what everyone is trying to achieve whether with film or animation? To an extent yes, but an action movie can still get away with poor acting if the action is explosive and entertaining. In the case of Blessing of the Campanella, there is nothing beside the characters. There are moments of derivative and forgetful action, a cringeworthy story that’ll make your head spin and a soulless world that desperately strives to blend genres and undeservingly prides itself in being satiric fan-service.