Sunday, September 22, 2019

G!

♣♣♣/♣♣♣♣♣

Four friends form the dream team of their school’s soccer group. Growing up as best friends, team captain Sam (McCoy de Leon) and heartthrob Dom (Jameson Blake) are putting their youth to good use by living the life ahead of them to the fullest. Little do they know that everything is about to change for one of them. Scoring a goal in one of their fames, Sam’s vision turns hazy and he collapses out of the blue. Taken to the emergency room of the nearest hospital, he is eventually diagnosed with Stage 3 Gallbladder Cancer. Hit with the realization that he is living on borrowed time and might not live to see another day, he comes up with a bucket list that the four of them then pursue. Their new YOLO initiative comes to a halt when they suddenly find a dead body at the back of their pick-up truck.

This is the last film I watched for 2019’s Pista ng Pelikulang Pilipino, right after Lola Igna. The two narratives deal about death, but from opposite ends of the spectrum. Lola Igna gives you the perspective of an old woman who has lived a long life and is more than ready to go but just won’t die. G! is all about dying from the point of view of a young man whose life is just about to begin. Perhaps watching the two films in this order sort of complemented one another for me, resulting in a rather insightful audio-visual experience regarding their common theme of death.

The poster does not do the film justice. While this movie is not groundbreaking at all, it still triggers a lot of realizations about life and death. As mentioned, though, this veers more towards the YOLO end of the spectrum, of living life to the fullest upon realizing that we are living on borrowed time. After all, one will never know when a surprise terminal illness or accident might hit. The good thing about this story is that it just enjoys itself and gives us a good ride by witnessing the main character’s journey.

It’s also refreshing to not focus so much on the drama that comes along with death, Sure, there are scenes meant to evoke an emotional response, but the film tends to concentrate more on the moments and memories. As Sam says, we are all going to die. It just so happens that he is leaving first. The movie clocks in at a little over an hour and a half which is rather short, but then again that just seems to be about right given the position that it takes in how to live one’s life.

As far as acting is concerned, this is still a teenybopper popcorn flick, the type that you can watch on Netflix on a boring weekend to kill time. Even then, we appreciate the attempt to elaborate on such a common yet unfathomable concept. I personally like the story’s conclusion because it is a clear description of life as it is. When we die, we will be remembered and the world of those around us will perhaps pause for a while, but the world never ever stops due to somebody’s demise, untimely or not. Eventually, everyone and everything moves on, and that’s where the weight of this storyline really lies.

In the end, this is just another tale of friendship with millennials as your lead characters. They deal with the usual concepts of love, puberty, adolescence, and all that jazz. Nonetheless, just like their joyride as well as the contrived subplots they find themselves dragged into, perhaps that is the simple message after all as far as life and death are concerned: Just enjoy the ride.

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