“Past imperfect. Future tense.”
The tagline alone enticed me. Being a sucker for indie films and anything past-related or something that would bring me back to the past, I right away made it a point to see this movie. It was initially screened at the SM Cinemas few weeks ago, but unfortunately I wasn’t able to catch it due to time and schedule constraints. That’s why when one day I saw a poster at TriNoma saying it’ll be shown before the Holy Week, I got excited and invited my brother to watch it the next day. I knew my brothers will be able to relate to this film because they just graduated high school. Surprisingly enough, I was the one who actually enjoyed it more.
First few minutes of watching it, I was already in awe and had the hunch that I will enjoy the rest of it. I certainly did. The moment Henry (played by RJ Ledesma), in his car, started reminiscing his good and bad high school memories while having a dilemma if he’ll get out and attend the reunion, I knew I’m gonna love this film I am watching. That scene stirred and echoed all my sentiments thirteen years at present after graduating secondary school. I may not be the most successful in our batch, but something would really hold me back in attending a similar event, if ever there’d be one soon. Will they like how I look? Will I enjoy their company now that it has been almost 15 years since we last saw each other? At the very least, am I ready to face them? To face the people I’ve done bad with? Or am I just scared to face the fact that nothing has changed, and that I won’t be able to share great stories of achievements and success? Or probably it’s just me, building a huge wall between me and them? Maybe. Maybe not.
But the movie didn’t dwell on that, I’m happy to say. Instead it mainly and plainly discussed about the joy, hardships, and even the heartaches of high school. Some say high school is the most happiest part of your scholastic life. I’d have to agree, but I’d have to disagree as well. High school can either make you or break you. Although in a broader scale, it can make you tough and strong, and will definitely equip you in entering another phase of your life. We may be too young to realize it at that time, but those crucial years indeed molded and shaped us into the person that we are today. The hates, the rejections, the triumphs, the relationships – all of which greatly contributed to our personality and means of dealing with life, with friends, with loved ones and with people in general.
Yes, Senior Year was able to discuss all those and more, in a clear, poignant and honest manner. The story may be your typical or usual high school story, but what made it special is its heart. Matched with raw acting from some of the fresh and new faces of (hopefully not just) Pinoy Indie world, and with great directing from Jerrold Tarog and great music from Johnoy Danao to boot, it will definitely put a smile on your face. The characters were unforgettable, too. The one I like the most was Bunda the big girl – quiet, shy, mysterious and deep. The scene with her parents fighting, and what she’s thinking of doing to them cracked me up. The young girl who played Stephanie is really pretty. She reminded me of my high school crush, whose name I’d rather not mention here. Each character in the movie actually brought me back to my high school years – there was the sosyal girl, the mag-jowa(s), the nerd, the gay, the lesbian, the singer, the jock, the bully. Name it, I’ll have someone in mind for it.
All of this and a lot more are what I enjoyed most in watching this stupendous film. It didn’t just brought me back, but it left me happier realizing I should be proud and thankful no matter what decisions I made, and no matter what life I decided to live.