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T500FC, 444th: Senior Year (Jerrold Tarog, 2010)

March.14.2011

“Past imperfect. Future tense.” Those words were the premise of the film. It was the best concept to justify the film’s uniqueness, apart from the films made in our country having the same setting. The most impressive thing about this movie is Jerrold Tarog’s, the director, decision to gather the actors and actresses first before creating the script. And with that, this film received an A rating from the Philippines’ Cinema Evaluation Board having more than a week’s run in selected SM cinemas, meaning it paved way for more people to watch this film.

Tarog’s concept in creating this movie is really inspiring. What he did was to survey hundreds of students, picking out the unique stories of the chosen individuals and then he wrote the script. And then he tapped veteran actors to play as the teachers and parents of the said students. Unknown child actors plus veteran players plus one ingenious director equals perfect.

As much as I would like to give the synopsis of the film, it might end up as a spoiler to most people. And with that the shortest summary that I could give is this film tackles the highs and lows of high school. Experiences of students include how they handle the social differences of their families, how religion can affect a child’s sexuality, how they would handle the different pressures of life whether it be academic or extra-curricular, or how they handle themselves in times of failure. And the setting provides us with a sort-of a looking back, around ten years ago, of alumni homecoming from a selected few of the batch.

Authenticity of the scenarios is what makes this film unique. I think we can put this film in the near mainstream category since SM gave Senior Year a chance to shine, as movie buffs in the Philippines are probably rejoicing right now since the film made it to a week. And when I saw this film in the theatre, even if there were just a few film goers in the theatre, my heart leapt when people clapped after the film ended. At least we know that people do appreciate this movie.

And the best part in this film is that we constantly look for ourselves in the thirteen students. It wasn’t pretentious since we did see these kinds of kids when we were still studying in high school and much more with the supporting cast. And even if there were a lot of characters in the film, Tarog did a glorious move on making these entire thirteen kids stand out on their own.

The best thing about this film; it was near realistic. It tells us the story that not everything ends up as a fairy tale story, much like what most of us experienced when we were young. Everything was just right, as if it fell onto its corresponding places. Even if we knew that we wanted more from this film, it eventually tells us to look at ourselves and examine where we are today. Yes, we too are part of the Senior Year.

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