The First Great Action Film of 2016

I don't want to leave people the impression that I am giving a good review of the film because one of its lead stars, JM De Guzman, is actually a good friend of mine.

So instead of giving my own review, I asked an office colleague to give her thoughts and opinions on the film. Here's what she has to say:

"You can say that I was never a good advocate of Filipino movies. Not until today at least, because I just saw a movie that ticks off a lot boxes on my list.

Tandem. Although it talks about what many considers is an unpleasant reality of being on the wrong side of the law, bravely tackles the real issues of criminality and corruption, without capitalizing too much in or trivializing the violence that goes along with it.

It's comforting to know that it made no attempt aggrandize or glamorize the life crime and corruption. But it tried to humanize the characters to the point that anyone can relate to the very real relationship between brothers and value we still put on family. I like the fact that Direk King Palisoc had a clear vision of the movie and stayed true to the the story he wanted to tell.

As a concerned adult, I'm always mindful of the message a movie sends to the younger audience. Hearing from Alemberg Ang (film producer), I agree it does make sense to expect a hero or a role model out of the main characters given the movie's material. The very clear message though is that there are consequences to the bad choices you make. Good enough for me.

As a fan of photography and visual arts in general, I'd say I liked what I saw in this movie. I liked where the camera took me and how much detail it showed. I liked the quiet moments of the brothers on the evenings and that time where Roman and Cha were lying in bed. How this movie captured all of the needed emotions to tell its story in very simple scenes is just plain artistry as far as I'm concerned.

For his performance in Tandem, JM De Guzman won the Best Actor Award at the 2015 MMFF New Wave Film Festival and also a nominee at the 2016 PMPC Star Awards for Movies

JM De Guzman has put himself on another level of acting through Rex. It's easy to imagine someone exaggerating a role like this but all I saw was good balance of mellow and intense. It's a surprise that actors like Nico Antonio (Roman) do not get good roles like this but he did such great justice to the desperation of trying to save his brother and the anguish of losing his wife. Rochelle Pangilinan (Cha) is someone I didn't even see act until now and I'm pleasantly surprised at how well she delivered on a role that's not even supposed to be noticed much. And Joel Saracho (Ninong) of course injected unexpected tiny bits of comedy into otherwise serious scenes.

The story, the acting, the visuals, all coming together to create a very time-worthy movie experience."


TANDEM hits selected cinemas nationwide next Wednesday, February 17. Just like Heneral Luna, let's watch the film on its first days so that cinemas won't pull them out and continue showing them.


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