Watched Apocalypse Child last night. If you haven’t seen it, it’s just Ang Nawawala set in Baler. And Ang Nawawala was just the poor man’s The Dreamers and Y Tu Mama Tambien.
I have the formula down. To produce a film in this ever more annoying subgenre, all you need are MPDG’s and their tits, cigarettes, weed, your choice of beach/underground indie scene, and a token traumatic background for every character. You don’t even have to concoct a very creative exposition of that last thing. You can just have the characters eventually tell their stories with hardly any motivation even though they pretend to be avoiding the topic at first.
Overall, I found Apocalypse Child lazy. Baler did all the work! It’s a freaking beach town. It is not that hard to make it romantic and dreamy, desaturated colors or no. I mean, tell me a quirky hipster millennial story set in the middle of SM department store or a Jollibee, and maybe I’ll believe it was a challenge to write and shoot. Baler though? Come on, guys. ?
I’m also sick of these pot session scenes. Seriously, pot is fun, but why are these directors so fucking impressed by it? It is just not that edgy anymore, and neither is nudity. I could almost feel the filmmaker thinking to himself, “OMG ennui. OMG youth culture. I am so Skins right now.”
The movie really comes alive towards the end though. I believe magic happens when you drop the pretentious youth culture marijuana bullshit and just let your characters lead and feel and show.
Fiona was the only character that seemed genuine to me. She says at one point, “why does everything have to be so mystical?” Her motivations didn’t have to be so convoluted; she had a grandmother, she wanted to watch her die, and she wanted a friend to hold her hand through it. Simple, real, unorchestrated. So when the Lola does die, you feel devastated even if you saw all of 30 seconds of her on film.
Fiona was the movie’s only triumph in my opinion. Everything else was just tired, saccharine, Sofia Coppola-wannabe dredge.