Edward: Movie Review

Photo courtesy of Cinemalaya.org
"Edward" flawlessly and effectively mixes its coming-of-age, drama, teen romance, and political and societal aspects all in one neat package. What you get is an unabashed, unafraid, yet touching film that will leave viewers wonderfully surprised.
Photo courtesy of Cinemalaya.org
A young boy finds himself stuck in a public hospital to take care of his sick father. Typically a place of hopelessness, the hospital serves as his playground and will ultimately be his rite of passage to liberation as he finds himself falling in love with another patient.
Photo courtesy of Cinemalaya.org
When we first read about "Edward" and what is was trying to attempt - to be a coming-of-age romance comedy film while taking a look into the Philippines' healthcare system or lack thereof - we couldn't imagine it working. But Thop Nazareno was able to weave a simple yet substantial tale detailing a kid's struggle against poverty, his sick yet absent father, falling in love, and a healthcare system that is truly deplorable. The story was a mix of conventional and unconventional aspects. Its shocking yet comforting at the same time as it takes its viewers to horrific realities that actual people are going through every day - like taking three weeks just to get lab tests, relatives needing to sleep under a patient's bed, the obvious lack of doctors to effectively help patients - while mixing an all too conventional love story to let people forget about the ills of society. The only complaint we had could be deemed minor at best as the film had some pacing and transition issues as it tried to clean up, weave, and build-up to its finale. At the root of the film's success beyond its writing was Louise Abuel as the lead Edward. He delivered an authentic and natural performance as he went through a heck of a lot of problems and roadblocks - mostly out of his control - no minor should have gone through. His role was definitely not easy but he found a way to come out looking like a veteran actor. Of course, beyond Abuel, the rest of the cast had great performances too but Sarah Brakensiek easily stole the show as the loud and sarcastic nurse "patiently taking care" of her patients. Another positive point for the film was Nazareno's camera work. He knew how to play with the camera to really show the ugliness of the real world. At times, it felt like Alfonso Cuarón's "Roma" in terms of cinematography. Overall, "Edward" is a film that you should not miss. The first few scenes are rough but once it gets going, the film will take you through a whole slew of emotions by the time the credits roll.
Photo courtesy of Cinemalaya.org
Rating: 4 and a half reels

Why you should watch it:
- was able to mix its romance comedy aspects flawlessly with its more serious topics

Why you shouldn't watch it:
- the ending was a cliffhanger and open to interpretation

"Edward" is currently available on iflix FREE.
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