Netflix Trese Series Review - Reel Advice Movie Reviews

Saturday, June 12, 2021

Netflix Trese Series Review

"Trese" has finally dropped and even with all the hype, the series doesn't disappoint. In fact, not only does it represents Filipino mythical culture at the forefront, it also wasn't afraid to show the modern-day and very real haunts that still hound the country daily. While "Trese" wasn't perfect, with excellent animation and a well-crafted narrative as its backbone, "Trese" was a guaranteed three hour or so thrill ride for those who dare to experience it. 
Set in modern-day Manila where the mythical creatures of Philippine folklore still live in hiding amongst humans, Alexandra Trese is the current babaylan (healer or protector) for the country's capital city. When several gruesome murders suddenly pop up across Manila with disturbing supernatural origins, Trese finds herself going head to head with the secret underworld of malevolent beings. As the killings and murders heighten up each day, Trese uncovers the real mastermind behind the madness and the devious reasons why it is doing it. 
For a fantastical series, you'd think that "Trese" wouldn't properly reflect urban life in Manila - but it was able to and for us, it was its strongest asset. "Trese", in fact, doesn't shy away from the beauty, the chaos, and the ugly sides of Manila life - and it certainly wasn't afraid to show its more controversial aspects. For us, these were not only key touchpoints that added depth but these were perfectly integrated into its narrative that gives "Trese"a more timely aspect. Each episode had pretty much the same format wherein we get a flashback then go back to present day with our lead character Alexandra Trese trying to solve a murder. We found this another positive for "Trese". The flashbacks gave audiences enough info to have a more intimate grasp on Trese (and the characters around her), especially her  motivations as a babaylan, while the murders gave each episode a whodunnit flair and guessing which creature was the culprit was surprisingly fun and engaging.               


One of the controversial that have hounded "Trese" even before it was released was the voice-dubbing. For both languages that we opted to watch it with (Filipino and English), we found both versions satisfying and more than adequate. But if we have to choose one, we would actually go for English for the simple fact that it was easier to follow even for us who are native speakers of Filipino. For authenticity's sake though, there's nothing wrong with the Filipino dub and both were equally great. As for our biggest problem with "Trese", it was its overall running time. At around half an hour per episode, we appreciated the bite-sized nature that made watching each episode brisk, approachable, with a sharp focus on what's important without any unnecessary fluffs. But at only a total of six episode, we felt that the jumps from episode to episode wasrushed. From its flashbacks to tying up its overall narrative arc, the transitions were just huge and forced us a few times to tie-up the story in between ourselves. This rushed feeling could be easily seen in the final episode of "Trese" wherein reveal upon reveal was made in a very unsatisfying manner. In our opinion, "Trese" actually needed a couple of more epsiodes to fully flesh out its narrative. Overall though, regardless if you're Filipino or not, "Trese" will lure you in with its unique twist and gelling of the modern and the mythical - with a lot of lessons in tow.            

 Rating: 4 and a half reels






Why you should watch it:
- short and sweet, "Trese" has all the important and key alements to make this a deep and satisfying twist on modern and mythical Manila


Why you shouldn't watch it:
- it needed more episodes
- the final episode was extremely rushed

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