Rakenrol (Quark Henares, 2011)


If there is an annual Best Nostalgic Filipino Film Award, then hands down, this film would nail it. In all its glory. Five years in the making, four band members, and a lot of familiar faces, director Quark Henares did something that suits him accordingly even if some pundits didn’t agree. And creating a film related to the local rock scene is a Herculean task, so whatever he does, he’d probably still be hearing negative reviews and positive praises. Damn if you do, damn if you don’t. But it all ends up with one thing, doing what you want and what you really love.

A love story enclosed by a lot of trivia, not just in the music industry but the Indie scene in general. Odie, played by Jason Abalos, decided to start a band due to his songwriting talent tagging Irene, played by Glaiza De Castro, his best friend. Lady luck shines upon the two and found a veteran in the underground rock scene, Mo of the band Titik O, played by Ketchup Eusebio. And to seal the deal, they found a drummer who happens to be angst stricken about everything, Junfour, played by Alwyn Uytingco. To add, they chose him as the drummer mainly with the innate rage when he was beating the crap out of a schoolmate. After their first gig, THE Matet De Leon surprises them by being their manager. And the story pulls us back to Odie’s undying love for Irene despite her falling in love with the annoying machismo of Jacci Rocha, played by Diether Ocampo.

A feel good movie. This best exemplifies what this film has been trying to say ever since you heard Odie start off with his opening spiel about his dad and his cousin loving the ridiculous sound or what they call rock nowadays. You have to believe Henares when he said that everything in this film came from the heart. If you’ve probably familiar with this guy, almost all of the scenes in the film would’ve been true on way or another. Let’s take Irene for example, her character was taken from Sandwich’s Myrene Academia or even Jacci Rocha, which I won’t really tell who his character is based on.

And aside from the fact that the characters and the scenes in the film are based on something, you have to add that Henares is a true-blooded geek. So, if you’re too keen with the surroundings and the environments in the entirety of the film, then you’d probably get the different shirts that the cast wore or even the NES controller belt buckle that Odie wore during the first part of the film. Again, Henares played by his strengths. Show something that you love and that has been dear to you all along.

The script itself is certainly hilarious, outrageous as a whole, written both by Sandwich’s Diego Castillo and Henares. But who wants a boring life of a rock group showing that they played on the shittest gigs or if somebody died in their band. I mean, come on. We’ve seen that already. I think it’s about time we see something that would just make us sit and enjoy the film. Like a retarded second-degree non-conformist roommate, an artsy-fartsy crazy director, an egotistical narcissistic lead singer of a pogi band, and the various places that some of us used to attend. By the way, Some of them are closed by now.

It clearly shows that the film took place during the decade of the 2000s that’s why the trivia itself didn’t get way beyond its timeline. For instance, pyramiding scams and the explosion of the emo scene. It’s all there. To add, a lot of people might not actually get the punch lines of used in the film. BUT if you’ve been part of it, then you’d know what they are. Let us say the manager of Mo, that guy is Mikey Amistoso, he gave the words of the music in the film. Or Philbert Dy, that long-haired guy in the coffee-house, he’s the main film critic in Clickthecity.com. I knew these trivialities in the decade of 2000.

Aside from the real story of the film, which is the love story of Odie and Irene, it was actually a Jacci Rocha movie. It was good that Diether Ocampo did the role. At least, there is a little redemption of what he did in the NU107 Rock Awards a few years ago. And he really did a fine job of being an ass, worthy of memory for decades to come.

Somebody said that the scene with one of the pillars of the 90’s Rock scene was abruptly lame. I beg to disagree. If you’re part of the rock / band industry, you’d ultimately get what he was trying to say. That you’d rather do what you love in your prime than regret it in the future. All of us should follow this if we found success in what we love and that come to think of it, that’s what Henares was trying to say all along.


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