By Heinrich Domingo
Apocalypse Child is reserved for cinephiles who appreciate the undefined. It is not for all. It is not for those who seek reason in the plot, who search for a moral in the story, who don’t like being left behind by the flow of events. This is a film that will leave you with two options: love it or hate it.
In a surfing town, Ford (played by Sid Lucero) lives an easygoing lifestyle. He teaches surfing for a living, has a beautiful girlfriend (Annicka Dolonius), and has a cool mother (Ana Abad-Santos). When he meets again his childhood best friend (RK Bagatsing), Ford is obliged to face his past and compelled to plan his future. But with the lies and secrets surrounding his life, he is left with scars that seem to eternally mark him.
Characters in the story are not the typical people we meet in reality. It is almost impossible to encounter a mother teaching his son to properly roll marijuana joints. It is almost impossible to encounter a man allowing his fiancé to have sex with his best friend. Apocalypse Child presents myths and mysteries in its best form reaching the point of absurdity. For others, it is pure brilliance. For some, it is utterly ridiculous.
The unconventional plot is viable to many flaws. Conversations that seem to not exist in the minds of the audience can be awkward to watch. Yet, the performance of its cast allowed the movie to be realistic in its own world. Lucero put a convincing embodiment of his character. At the end of the film, he was almost indistinguishable with Ford.
The film does not fear to be different. Despite having eccentric story, it remained consistent in its message. Its cinematography, production design, and musical scoring worked together in delivering the story. From surfing beaches of Baler to Apocalypse Now shooting locations, this movie is certain of its message. Until the end, the film revolved around blurring the dividing line between myth and reality.
Apocalypse Child does not believe in compromise. Instead of winning over the whole crowd and using a mediocre storyline, it chose to remain true to its principle. The movie bears a singular theme and all its cinematic elements coincide with it. Such courage is commendable and will surely be applauded by many. But since taste of cinema is subjective, viewers are confronted to choose whether to love or hate this movie.