In which the film "Senior Year" brings back memories from high school

12 March 2011

I spent some quality time with myself earlier today by going to the mall for some Chinese food and a movie. I wanted to watch I Am Number Four but the movie had just started when I got to the cinema. As the next screening wasn't for two more hours, I narrowed my choices to The Adjustment Bureau and Senior Year. My desire to support local, independent films won in the end when I chose Senior Year.

Directed by Jerrold Tarog, the movie features three main characters - Henry (RJ Ledesma), Mitch (Ina Feleo), and Carlo (Arnold Reyes) - about to attend their high school reunion. Henry couldn't go out his car, worried that he has not lived up to what is expected of him as the Valedictorian of the class. Mitch and Carlo discuss their past selves, grievances and ires. Interspersed with scenes from ten years prior, they reminisce about their last four months in St. Fredrick's Academy before they graduate and go to college while wondering about the things that have happened to their other classmates.

A real treat to watch! Graded A by the Cinema Evaluation Board, it is a perfect mix of humor, drama, and clever lines plus and an ensemble cast of talented actors and newbies. Being a "slice of life" movie, watching it makes you feel like you are back in the halls of your old school, trying to catch the eye of that guy or girl. Or, inside a noisy classroom, listening to your teacher discuss inflation. Oh yes, I did remember the crushes I had, the minor fights and falling outs, my hopes and dreams, countless hours spent on the phone talking with friends after I've been with them the whole day, the Prom, the Student Council, letters I sent my super-crush, and letters I received from a secret admirer...

What is a movie about high school without the "characters"  who used to roam the school? The jocks, the posh girls, the nerds, and the outcasts. If anything, it made me miss my classmates as the experience made me feel like seeing them on screen, just having different faces and names, but with the same quirks. It also made me remember my favorite teachers, specially Teacher Jane and Teacher Cristy. I wonder how they are now, and whether they still remember us. When I was in my senior year, I was part of the cool nerds' club. My circle of five best girl friends were all part of the Top Ten list every quarter and graduated with honors. We weren't the grouchy, ultra-competitive, grade-conscious types though. Together with our best guy friends, we loved having fun and organized out of town trips at least twice a year. I see them very rarely now because of work, but I make it a point to attend get-togethers every chance I get.

Let me tell you a secret. I cringe when I see old photos of myself in high school x_x With my glasses and braces, I looked like a skinny Ugly Betty, minus the bangs. It's a wonder how I got a boyfriend LOL. Want to see my fifteen-year old self? Do you promise you won't use it to blackmail me in the future?

Here's a safe photo. I'm the one with the glasses and thick eyebrows =D
And here I am signing a friend's yearbook during a reunion we had back in 2009.
Myself on our reunion two years ago, six years after the old photo above was taken.
Look ma, more tamed eyebrows! And look ma, no braces!
If the movie had any flaw at all, it's the lighting. I don't know if it's SM Fairview Cinema 11's fault, but it looked like the characters never paid their electricity bills as the lighting inside their houses are very dim.

Congratulations to the team behind Senior Year! I recommend this movie to everyone. Bring your friends, please, and let's support this indie film! The saddest part about watching it today is seeing less than twenty people watching with me. How can directors release great quality films if what the movie-goers support are only those that feature the current matinee idols? As a character in the movie pointed out when asked if she watches this kind of films seeing as how she is so well-versed at them, "Hindi, sa trailer lang. E trailer pa lang parang napanood mo na 'yun movie eh!" (Nope, I only saw the trailers. Two minutes' worth of trailers already tell you what happens in the movies.) Exactly.

Here's the trailer:

Watch it watch it watch it!! And while I'm at it, to my friends and classmates from high school, we really should organize another reunion soon.

PS: Students get a special discount when they present their school ID upon buying tickets because the movie was endorsed by the Department of Education. Thank you to the lady at the tills earlier for asking for my ID. I'm flattered, but I graduated from college almost four years ago. Thank you. ^^,

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