Sunday, August 3, 2014

#Y - Cinemalaya New Breed

Director: Gino Santos
With: Elmo Magalona, Coleen Garcia, Sophie Albert, Kit Thompson, Slater Young, Chynna Ortaleza

Synopsis from Cinemalaya: #Y chronicles the adventures of the members of this generation known for their affinity with social media and the Internet, and combines this with a tale of sex, drugs, and alcohol, and the nights they won’t remember but will never forget.

Gino M. Santos' #Y is my favorite film so far among any Cinemalaya movies I've seen. It's up there with Ang Babae Sa Septic Tank and while it won't make the audience laugh hysterically like the latter, it's one that will surely resonate emotionally whether you're a teenager, an adult, a parent - it stimulates passion out of everyone. Thanks to the young director Gino M. Santos who's confident in his vision of tackling the negativity of the modern day generation - vices, social media, and hell even corruption in society.

I love everything about it. The moment it started BOOM! you just know that it's going to be a great film. The cinematography, editing, and art direction gels like a slick pompadour hairstyle. It made the cityscapes of the metro look expensive and just plain beautiful. Parties looked legit, high class and never exaggerated or downplayed. It seemed like we're part of the first world countries. Its soundtrack is amazing! It's probably the best soundtrack in any Filipino movie and what I love about it is that it gave the film a melancholic and chill vibe when the scenes are sad, passionate and quiet. They featured a lot of indie Filipino songmakers one of which is a friend whose song was featured during the passionate sex scene. It turned out to be my favorite among the songs throughout the film even before knowing that it's composed by my friend. Seriously, it's amazing and far from being pretentious and hey! it showcased the talent of Filipino indie songwriters/composers so that's a huge plus.

Elmo Magalona, Coleen Garcia and Sophie Albert
in #Y / Cinemalaya
I'd go ahead and say that it blossomed more because of its screenplay but even though that's true, every aspect of the film really shined that it made for a close to perfect film. Its screenplay is one that hits close to home. Very personal and you just know that it's overflowing with emotions and thoughts that encompasses the modern generation's minds. It has a lot of 'conyo' dialogues and it's usually something that annoys people easily, but it never was annoying in #Y. The use of those language is very apt and natural. It doesn't hurt that they made perfect casting choice with Elmo Magalona, Coleen Garcia, Sophie Albert and Kit Thompson who comprised the four major characters of the film. In no way I am close to any of the characters' personalities but the narrative sure made me (and I think everyone) relate to what they went through in their lives. These characters are so spot-on of what the younger generation is like nowadays it's not even funny. The film may have focused on the negativity but it was never petty but rather serious and important. One would think that these characters have too many flaws, but one would also find themselves attached to these characters at one point in the film. These characters are human filled with imperfection and things the audience would probably find as immoral or controversial, but at the end of the day, they remained ironically likable and tolerable. Emphasis on the likable.

As much a cliche the upcoming statement will sound, it's so true when I say that Elmo Magalona and Coleen Garcia are both a REVELATION on their own. Elmo's suicidal Miles is something that will probably stick with you. It's as if Elmo waited for this film to give all his best emotionally. He captured the darkness of a young normal yet reserved and gloomy guy who's on the brink of ending his life despite being surrounded by his supportive friends and family. Coleen Garcia on the other hand perfectly portrayed a young liberated woman who treats sex and drugs like a normal habit. Every word punched by Coleen gave me life in this film. She served as the comic relief yet sometimes she also seemed like the group's voice of reason. Sophie Albert and Kit Thompson are nothing short of intensity and energy as friends and lovers who value different things in life. They're very impressive and made the cast even more diverse yet somehow, everyone mixes well together. I'll never end this acting performances praising galore without mentioning Chynna Ortaleza. Because I've never seen her that GOOD in any film or TV show she's in. I didn't know whether to laugh or cry in one of her scenes. It's THAT good and interesting. Gino Santos brought out the best in these people and it made for a great viewing.

It truly is a must-watch! It may seem like another film about Generation Y but it's surprisingly not like the norm. Not only it achieved great in the technical aspects, it's also one of the most important Filipino films I've seen in the recent years. This movie is aces.