Citizen Jake: Movie Review

Photo courtesy of Citizen Jake Teaser Trailer 2
"Citizen Jake" suffers from an identity crisis - it doesn't know what it wants to be. On one hand, it's a crime thriller having a murder mystery at its core. On the other end, it's a political and historical mouthpiece much like a documentary. Both weren't well-made. Both didn't gel well.

Photo courtesy of Citizen Jake Teaser Trailer 2
Jake Herrera (Arom Araullo) is the son of a senator who is a former Marcos crony. Living far away from his dad in Baguio, Jake must confront the sins of his family when a student is found raped and murdered and possible links to friends and family are discovered.
Photo courtesy of Citizen Jake Teaser Trailer 2
Watching "Citizen Jake" was surreal - definitely odd. The film was simply lost on its own narrative never really finding its groove to make it all cohesive. The film juggled around between being an actual film and a documentary piece. The narrative stifled with long expositions about the Philippines' colored past on culture and politics. Sometimes these were vaguely related to the film's actual plot devices but some came out of nowhere. Citizen Jake wanted to say a lot and do a lot but it bit off more than it could chew. It failed to be great at anything just because it had too much at its plate - a jack of all trades but a master of none. Surprisingly, Atom Araullo's performance was mostly great. It felt authentic and even substantial but was.heavily stifled by the aforementioned narrative. On the other spectrum, Max Collins' performance was laughable. If we could choose one of the film's best asset, it would probably be its cinematography featuring stunning scenes from Mike de Leon. Overall though, "Citizen Jake" could have been more. It's multitudes of agendas and lack of focus supremely make this a jarring and hard-to-follow experience.
Photo courtesy of Citizen Jake Teaser Trailer 2
Rating: 2 reels

Why you should watch it:
- Stunning cinematography

Why you shouldn't watch it:
- The narrative was a huge letdown
- Bloated and unfocused on what it wants to be

You can catch "Citizen Jake" for free on iFlix.

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