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About Us But Not About Us (SMMFF 2023)

Directed by: Jun Robles Lana

3 characters.

2 actors.

1 setting.

Having only two actors seated in front of each other, this movie will keep you on the edge of your seat. You’re in the front row, watching a theater play in a form of a movie. A first-of-its-kind in Philippine Cinema.

With restaurant as their only setting, the characters feed your appetite. Pieces of information are gradually being shared to you. The more details you know, the more you become hungry.

The question never ends.

The tension never stops.

The lights establish the mood. The cinematography and the production design take you to different places without going anywhere. The technalities display perfection.

The flow could have been better. Some topics come and go. Their discussions can get broad, and it’s not fitting for one sitting. Some relevations are hard to talk about in person, yet they can easily share these things and wrap it up afterwards.

The conflict could have been more grounded if motives are equally established. Sensible reasons behind some major decisions are missing, leaving no room for empathy towards the other character.

Despite the unnatural flow and unsound arguments, the actors remained reliable.

Romnick Sarmenta’s performance is like a fine wine that gets more flavorful every minute passes by. The more he talks, the more he becomes a real person and less of a character. He humanizes the story.

On the contrary, Elijah Canlas is giving a reasonable theatrical attack to the scenes. His acting is like a chameleon that instantly transforms whenever the scene demands for it. His actions are precise. His eye contact and hand gestures speak for themselves. There’s an equivalent meaning behind his every movement.

Focusing on the actors and their characters, this film is about them but not really about them. It’s more than that.

𝘈𝘣𝘰𝘶𝘵 𝘜𝘴 𝘉𝘶𝘵 𝘕𝘰𝘵 𝘈𝘣𝘰𝘶𝘵 𝘜𝘴 aims to break the stereotypes in storytelling and production—while staying decent and classy in relaying a story.

It’s a movie experience you wouldn’t want to miss.



p.s. Try to watch the 2021 Cinemalaya Short Film 𝘛𝘩𝘦 𝘋𝘶𝘴𝘵 𝘐𝘯 𝘠𝘰𝘶𝘳 𝘗𝘭𝘢𝘤𝘦 for a slightly similar approach.

Cast: Elijah Canlas, Romnick Sarmenta

Presented by: The IdeaFirst Company, October Train Films, Quantum Films

Release Date: April 8, 2023 in Philippine Cinemas nationwide

A Movie Review by: Goldwin Reviews



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