Sunday, August 6, 2017

CINEMALAYA 2017: Review of REQUITED: Purposeless Pap

August 6, 2017

Cinemalaya Film Festival year 13 opened last Friday August 4, 2017. It will run up to Sunday August 13, 2017. Aside from various venues in the CCP, the 8 feature films in competition will also be shown in selected Ayala Mall theaters in Greenbelt, Glorietta, Trinoma, UP Town Center, Fairview Terraces and Marquee Mall (in Angeles, Pampanga). I doubt if I can catch everything. I'm just watching them in no particular order or preference, only as my schedule allows. This film "Requited" (written and directed by Nerissa Picadizo) is the first that I have caught this year.

Matt was a young but down and out architect, coping with a health problem. Sandy was a volleyball star, forced out of her sport by another rare health problem. One day, moody Matt embarked on a solo trip to Mt. Pinatubo via bicycle. By surprise, perky Sandy meets up with him with her bicycle and rode alongside him on his trip. Through their stopovers and injuries, the two bickered all the way on the road and up the mountain.

This film is basically a two-hander, with only Jake Cuenca and Anna Luna as Matt and Sandy as its backbone. I have to commend them for their bravery for riding their bikes on highways with actual traffic whizzing dangerously close by. During the scene when they biked across the welcome bridge into Tarlac, one impatient SUV even overtook them from the wrong side, right on the dirt shoulder of the road.

Cuenca is physically compatible with the role. We know he could really do this backbreaking long-distance bike ride for real. On the other hand, it was hard to believe that Luna could make it all the way, given her physical stature and her character's previous health history. It also somehow strained belief that Luna was a star volleyball player with a killer spike. 

But performance-wise, Anna Luna is simply so winsome here as Sandy. She is the life and soul of this film with her cute smile and vibrant personality. She was believable as a star celebrity that people admired. Jake Cuenca did what he can to bring his one-note character to life, but he struggled because of the perpetual abject misery Matt was made to wallow in. 

This is one of those movies that is simply so maddening. Slowly but surely, it seemed to be building up so well. So many questions were being set up waiting for answers to be revealed. After hearing all their petty arguments and despite their annoying nature, I was already actually beginning to be interested to find out what those answers were. 

Were these two people ever an item before? How does Matt really feel about Sandy when he seems so angry with her over the most petty things, like her tiger print helmet? How does Sandy really feel about Matt, now that she already had a foreigner boyfriend Chris? Why was Matt so insecure about Sandy's popularity with her fans? Why was Sandy making brazenly suggestive sexy moves in front of Matt? What was wrong with these two people to make them so miserable?

And then came that out-of-this-world ENDING! That ending that was came as a total shock. That ending that felt like a sharp slap to the face. The ending that threw all my questions out of the window. That ending that will make you shout curses. That ending that made absolutely no sense. That ending that squandered everything I invested into this. The ending that made everything before it make no sense. The ending that sadly reduced this whole film into a purposeless waste of my time. 

Oh by the way, did I tell you I hated the ending? 2/10.


  1. Just finished the film tonight and looking if I am the only one who feel this way. And guess what? We feel the same! So mamy unanswered questions left hanging and I feel the Pinatubo is asking for justice. Hay. It's a "what happened to this movie" kimd of film.

  2. That "hulog" scene is WTF!

  3. I don't remember that last time I saw a 2/10 rating on your blog! The story sounds really thrilling and edge of the seat throughout! But I wonder what's that miserable ending.

  4. I guess I wont be seeing this! The story sounds good though!

  5. I guess I wont be seeing this! The story sounds good though!

  6. It looks like you really hated the ending. Jake actually is doing well in duathlon races and is really strong on the bike.

  7. Uuuuuh 2/10! That's totally discouraging. I'm a sucker for happy endings, so this movie is certainly not the right one for me.

  8. Oh 2 out of 10! What other good films are there to watch?

  9. Yikes, 2 isn't the best rating ;) I'm glad you're doing the ratings for us so I won't be disappointed. I know how sad it is to spend a couple hours and feel like I totally wasted my time with a film. Great job laying it all out.