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ABNKKBSNPLako?! The Movie follows the timeline of writer Bob Ong's school days, the main concept is to reminiscent the unforgettable memories of the old high school life. It sounds like a sweet idea by pouring immense love of nostalgia, but the ambition didn't stray far enough. The only part the film seems to prioritize are the trends of each of those periods like listening to classic music, talking about popular television shows, watching box-office hits, and other stuff that were once big in the last decades. It kind of hurts and distracts the main storytelling which feels like we missed a lot of points of the plot.
It's obvious the film is meant to relate to the ones who have been through the joys and troubles of education in the country. Roberto narrates how his life works: he has a family who wants him to graduate, he always encounters strict teachers, he had failures in class, embarrassing moments, loyalty to friends, having problems getting along with other people, and of course fallen in love. These parts would have been nice, only if it digs deeper to it, but it's mostly just culture where it insights what the students back in the days do without the modern technology. It's fascinating to remember how kids were just playing with their school materials, fighting over a toy, passing letters, and making actual relationship to classmates. But then, it hardly helps telling a compelling story.
It's actually difficult to see the entire message. There is also a romantic subplot that is terribly half-baked, we never likely saw how the main character fought for their relationship, assuming that love stories are just about waiting. These things are apparently interesting, but it could have made a lot of sense if the film takes more time fleshing things out of the characters and the state of their lives. The film is just too busy wallowing more on the product placements.
To be fair, the production is solid enough. Everything looks bright and colorful which makes a good-looking environment. The direction gives hipster effects to resemble to any movie about high school. The performances have the enthusiasm. There is an obvious charm in Jericho Rosales, but that's it. The rest is probably fine, despite of their short screen time. Though, Meg Imperial and Vandolph Quizon give more personality than anyone else around.
Watching ABNKKBSNPLAko?! The Movie is like reading someone's photo album, journal, or scrapbook, except those things can tell stories better than this movie. I can be fair to say it could have been an interesting story about how unique Filipino education is, but we can't see much of the connection. It's just mentioning and explaining contemporary stuff and I think it deserve better than that. I want to see more of the characters' interaction to each other and take the nostalgic stuff at the background instead. In that case, it can be a decent character study it wants to be.
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