Sunday, April 17, 2011

Movie Review: Senior Year

My friend has been heavily promoting this independent film, Senior Year, on Facebook that I actually thought that she is friends with its director. Too bad that when I read her messages, the movie was no longer being shown in cinemas. However, apparently, the movie got good reviews that the producers decided to show it again. Thus, I was able to catch it in Trinoma last Friday. 

Senior Year is a drama/comedy/coming of age film (according to its Facebook page) about the lives of high school students of St. Frederick’s Academy Batch 2010. It was directed by Jerrald Tarog, the same guy who directed Faculty, my favorite among all short films part of ABS-CBN’s AmBisyon 2010.

The film uses flashbacks. It starts with this man, Henry (played by RJ Ledesma), talking to himself in his car, probably ten years after graduating from high school. Henry is hesitating to get off and attend his batch’s reunion. He then reminisces the life he had in high school. Two other characters, Carlo and Mitch (played by Arnold Reyes and Ina Feleo respectively), also help in telling the story.

The screenplay is something that I wish I wrote. Viewers can really relate to the story unless they have not been to high school. It tackles love and relationship, family problems, homosexuality (very lightly though), and hopes and dreams of young individuals. It has enough twists to keep the viewers glued to their seat. I have only one problem with the story: the characters seem to have no idea of what happened to their classmates after they have graduated from high school. If they graduated in 2010, they should be familiar with Facebook, right? Thus, they should not be that clueless about the lives of their classmates. It would have been better if the story was set ten years ago.

The young actors in this movie are really natural. It does not look like they are acting at all, unlike newbie actors that I see on television nowadays. I particularly liked the performance of the girl playing Solenn, the one who wants to go to La Salle. Che Ramos also did well as one of the teachers. 

It actually was my first time to watch a local independent film in a movie theater. I thought the images would be grainy, but I was wrong; they were really sharp, except for some of the Intrams scenes where the camera was shaky (I don’t know if that was deliberate). I am not a film critic (or at least not yet), but I can say that this movie is superb. After all, it was given an A rating by the Cinema Evaluation Board. We should have more quality movies like this.

Anyway, when the ending credits started rolling, there was this guy in the cinema who suddenly talked to the audience. I think he is part of the film’s production team. He thanked us for watching and asked us to promote the movie through our blogs or Facebook. Now I understand why my friend has been heavily promoting it.

(The film may no longer be in cinemas by the time you read this. If they release it on video, be sure to buy a copy.)

Check the trailer here.

Watch Jerrald Tarog’s short film Faculty here.

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