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04 August 2014

Cinemalaya 2014: “#Y” (Film Review)

RATING: 3.5/5
A rich attractive young man ponders suicide. Why or #Y?The film attempts to explain the reason but other may find the reason philosophically thin. I think we cannot really put too much judgment on Miles, the main character, portrayed with charisma by Elmo Magalona. After all, if you live in a world where everyone is “Caucasian-ly beautiful” complete with an American accent, and where money is never a problem, your view of mortality and the meaningless of life is flawed or misguided. However, the fault does not lie on all the privileged young characters in the movie. They are the children of their paradigm, and I doubt if they ever leave its borders. As one female character puts it, “Q.C. eww!”


#Y is surprisingly entertaining, and I suspect mostly to members of Millennials generation or the "Selfie" generation. However, this films reminded me of my younger days when my friends and I proudly declared that we were part of the Generation X. We were the Winona Ryders, the Ethan Hawkes, the Janine Garofalos. In reality, we were Rowenas, Edgars and Jen-Jens struggling to get by. We just blindly incorporated Western culture in our lives because it was cool.


#Y also provides many moviegoers a glimpse of the lives of privileged teens in this Third World country. Yes, wake up upper class Mellinnials, listen to us lower class/lower middle class Generation Xs. You live in the Third World. Deal with it! The pitchforks are coming. Tell your parents.

The Secret of the Film: Spoiler Alert!

The discussion below is a spoiler but if you want to know, read the content below. However, if you want to discover the film's secret on your own, do not read any further.

In case you missed it, Miles' brother does not exist. The parents have never really acknowledged the presence of Miles' brother in the hospital and at the dinner table. Mile's brother is also always in the same places where Miles is. In fact, his brother was also high on drugs when Miles was high. The nanny also suspiciously looked at Miles while he was supposedly talking to his imaginary brother. Obviously, the nanny is used to seeing Miles talk to himself but she knows her place and chooses not to speak. Most importantly, his brother appeared near the end of the movie, then disappeared. Pay attention to the family pictures as well. This narrative device sums up Miles' real mental state. If this is really the case, my review above does not apply anymore. If Miles suffers from multiple personalities or something akin to that, his suicide makes sense. And so the black swan enters…


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