All before disgusting romcoms corrupted the minds of the Filipino youth by coating every aspects of love with mozzarella cheese, was the age of feel good barkada movies. Best with coke in plastic and a snack pack of chili & cheese flavored chippy. The Reunion offers a story that sips you into a time warp and slaps you with the aces and jokes of life.
High School is perhaps the brightest part of our lives. It is where we shared the funnest, the most embarrassing and even the dullest moments with our dabarkads. It’s also the time where every one of us may have met that special person who gave an air of life – of romance – throughout the suffocating academic journey. Or else, maybe it was something more than that. Perhaps, pheromones that ruined or started some life. Oh yeah, that might be it! The Reunion, after all, is burdened by a conflict oozing with testosterone.
In The Reunion we see four friends who discovered that their lives have gone wrong because they’re tied in a string of bad luck caused by the break up of Lloyd (Enchong Dee) and Ara (Cristine Reyes).
I’ve previously reacted “like seriously?” to the shallowness and stupidity of that resolution but while watching the film it’s either you’re gonna have to brush-off that dumb contrivance or you can question the shallowness of today’s generation. But the latter my dear readers hasn’t been deliberately implied to the film hence a product of a thorough inspection.
I tried the former though so as I could move on with the film. Fortunately, the littlest and the stupidest of all fucking resolutions sufficed. Its shallowness later on saved by sincere performances of the four leads corrected by an adage from Aling Nena that life is – And indeed, life is a big connect-the-dots puzzle.
Although not everyone pulled off the best acting chops like Matt Evans, Gina Pareno, Tom Rodriguez, Jessie Mendiola and Enrique Gil did. The rest of the cast delivered tolerable performances. The Reunion showed a variety of characters whose backstories were recycled from teleserye cliches but when put together creates a chorus of emotions over Eraserheads head-bobbing music. The problem with it is that it is fueled by romantic subplots which was rather pale than colorful. However, some of the short love stories surprisingly and amazingly works. For me, two stood out among the four as they were shrouded by literary mists. The one about the stars isn’t smart albeit at some point probably trying. It was Ali(Jessie Mendiola) and Lloyd’s (Enchong Dee) love story which was nonexistent at first and later on became the most important point of the film’s story-telling. But the one about not being able to catch up with one’s pace was truly heartbreaking and stunned me the most. It was Boggs (Enrique Gil) and Ligaya’s (Julia Montes) love story.
The editing is great by stylizing it with comic elements and photo slideshows that gives a certain scrapbook feel and lightness to the film. Cinematography is a plus one as it is filled with visually orgasmic sequences – allow me to name a few: The drunkard-dog-with-a-shotgun riot (if you know what I mean), the car chase (especially when they slowed down and there was lens flare) and everything Avengers (No! Certainly not because of the bulges). Hahaha!
The movie is actually awesome if all you need is to time-travel through your grandfather’s old cassette player over some of Eraserheads’ music. That, I believe is something that one should replay over and over like the spinning of an old cassette tapes’ reel. It’s just that the concept of the film could have sparked life to a friendship movie that is as masterful as Rajkumar Hirani’s 3 Idiots, as delightful as Jerrold Tarog’s Senior Year or as carefully woven as Gilbert Perez’ Jologs – but Frasco Mortiz took the film on a lackadaisical road trip which ordinary people would enjoy with a coke in plastic and a snack pack of chili & cheese flavored chippy and sadly nothing else.