So finally, I got to watch an MMFF movie a week after the film fest itself, because (1) I hate crowded cinemas, (2) The screening of the movies that I thought were worth watching is usually delayed in my city, and (3) I was waiting for the reviews. Yes, I read reviews FIRST before watching because I don’t want getting disappointed. And I’m not worried about spoilers because the reviewers I read aren’t a**holes.
Obviously (hello title) I watched Siargao starring Jericho Rosales, Erich Gonzales, and Jasmine Curtis Smith, and directed and produced by Paul Soriano under his Tent 17 Production. We all know the movie raked in a few awards from the MMFF including Best Picture Runner Up, Best Director, and Best Supporting Actress for Jasmine.
So on with my ‘review’ (Charot Review if you may).
I liked the movie, that’s given. It was well made technically with very glossy imagery and aesthetics, taking advantage of the beauty that is Siargao. For most part, it felt like the whole point of the film was to tell its viewers to come and experience the titular island or maybe learn how to surf.
There is no problem in that.
BUT if you came to the cimena expecting to make hagulgol or open old wounds in your life, then this is not the movie. It is not a movie that will make all types of audiences affected.
It was visual rather than emotional.
An echoserong reviewer friend who watched the movie ahead of me said “the storyline was flat and if not for the mainstream actors, the movie would be boring.” That can be a little harsh but true. The closest to a climax or the conflict one could get was that part where Diego sang in a fair. It felt like there was barely a story to be told.
You can even call it an advocacy film, considering how much emphasis has been put on cleaning the oceans and preserving nature.
But then, maybe, it was the point of the movie. You come to Siargao as a tourist, you meet people, you learn just a little about them, probably ‘kiss them at a party’ and then you leave with the memories.
And then maybe come back again like waves do. But will you stay? Maybe. If you’re a surfer.