senior year by jerrold tarog

When I first saw the ad for Senior Year in the newspaper, I thought it was a 2D animated feature. I thought, unless it was going to be treated with Japanese manga crazy storytelling, it will not work.

It was a relief to discover, during my meanderings in SM Megamall, that the movie was actually live action. Seeing Ramon Bautista as the PE teacher piqued my interest and strengthened my resolve to watch it.

I'm glad I did.

Despite the fact that I come from an all-girls school, I could relate to the movie on so many levels. My experience of HS co-education was a teacher. What I saw in the movie was a mix of both my experience as student and as teacher.

The story of Senior Year is not really a singular one. Neither does it have the usual beginning, middle and end. The movie is like what high school is all about. Little stories of different people that hardly form a whole. Little stories that matter to each one living it. Little stories, just like our own recollection of high school would be.

I enjoyed the hodge-podge of high school characters in the movie. Somewhat stereotypical but representative of the kinds of students you usually encounter. The nerd, the wannabe, the sosyalera, the playboy, the sexually confused, the tsismosa, the angas. Take your pick. Yet despite the "classification," they each share their complexity. Falling in love. Apprehending the future. Holding on to friendships.

The teachers were also interesting to watch. I particularly related with Che Ramos' character, The idealistic teacher who saw her position as an opportunity for the change, the chance to make a difference, if only in the life of one student. I dream to be her someday.

Senior Year is a simple, quiet movie about high school. Its simplicity is what makes it worth watching.

To any one who were ever subject to the four walls of learning, to any one who feared the future, to any one who went through confusion, watching Senior Year would be a recollection.

To those who are where they are right now and realized how different one turned out from what one expected or hoped to be, to those who look at themselves and realize how much they have turned out to be a surprise, pleasant or not, watching Senior Year would be a reflection on a past reality.

Go and watch it at your nearest SM Cinema. It's definitely much more worth than your money that Who's That Girl. Especially since we got free Selecta ice cream on the way in. :P

And oh, Ramon Bautista? Not much minutes in the movie but what little exposure he had, I was giggling like crazy. Not even sure if it was because the scene was funny or it was because Le Bautista was in it. :P

See the trailer here.