Movie Review: Ronda needed more…much, much more

DIRECTED BY: Nick Olanka
Starring: Ai-Ai delas Alas, Julian Trono, Cesar Montano, Carlos Morales, Carlo Aquino

Ronda is a story of “a policewoman [who] roams the city of Manila to fulfill her duties as a police patrol and to look for her lost son.”

It looked like an interesting premise, but there was something severly lacking in the story that made me bored until the last few minutes of the film. It ended with a bang. But unfortunately, not even the ending can save the film.

The movie opens with a patrol car roaming Metro Manila. This went on for a few minutes while the credits are being shown. Ai-Ai delas Alas plays a police woman patroling the Metro in the wee hours of night. It was refreshing to see delas Alas playing a serious role. And in this movie, she did it well.

Together with delas Alas’ partner, the film shows the events of a one-night duty which involves solving a petty crime, dealing with a corrupt boss and the death of a police higher-up’s runner. All this while delas Alas’ character was trying to locate her son who has not been home for two days. While these seemed a lot, and along with the mother-looking-for-her-son angle, the movie lacked something…in every aspect.

Somehow, all these events failed to lead up to the ending, which is ultimately about her son. The movie tried so hard to present the dark side of the police force, but still presenting delas Alas’ character as a strong, empowered woman at work but helpless when it comes to her personal life.

Julan Trono, who plays her son had a very limited screen time but still managed to pull of a troubled character. Cesar Montano’s role was bland, which was matched by his acting. So I guess, he did it well.

It was sad because apart from delas Alas and Trono, the rest of the cast were given roles that were seemed to be written just to fill the 120-minute running time of the film. Also, Codie Domingo was credited as one of the cast members, but I honestly cannot recall seeing him in the film. Did I just miss him or was all his scenes edited out?

It also didn’t help that the script and editing wasn’t as tight as I expected for a Cinemalaya film. During one of delas Alas and Montano’s conversation, Trono’s character was said to be in college. But in the final scene, it was revealed that he was actually in high school.

There were also cut-to-cut scenes where the outfits wouldn’t match. I mean, I understand that this happens all the time even in other movies. But if you’re audience is bored enough with your story, it wouldn’t help that your main character is wearing a uniform in one scene, and then wearing a different blouse in the next scene.

I was at the edge of my seat, waiting for the ending. Not because I was so excited to see how it would end, but because I just really wanted it to end, so I can go home.

2/5 stars


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