Movie Review: #Y: A Look at the Troubled #Youth

DIRECTED BY:  Gino M. Santos
STARRING: Elmo Magalona, Coleen Garcia, Sophie Albert, Kit Thompson, Slater Young, Chynna Ortaleza


This is by far the movie I related the easiest to. Maybe because the characters are the same age as I. And somehow I can relate to their internal battles.

#Y “chronicles the adventures of the members of a generation made universal by the realms of social media, the internet, sex, drugs and alcohol, and the occasional YOLO.”

I haven’t watched Director Gino Santos’ first full-lkenth “The Animals” during last year’s Cinemalaya, but I’ve heard people say that the two films are somewhat similar. Maybe Santos wants to encapsulate the youth story. And with #Y, he did it well.

The movie presented quite a lot of youth problems — drugs, peer pressure, bullying, a parent’s scandal, and sex. But probably the hardest and most dangerous problem, which was also the center of the movie, is the battle of the youth with oneself and not being able to tell the people around you of what you really feel.

I could relate to it because there are moments where I feel like I can handle my problems on my own, and that sharing my problems with others is an admission of weakness.

#Y also gave a nod to the current political issue the country is facing now — fund scandal. And while clearly showing the evil of corrupt politicians, it also showed the evil of the supposed “victims” that were too quick to judge just basing on the accusations.

The movie also brought to attention that the decisions made by the younger generation are their own. And their parents, or anyone else around them, are not to blame for it.

In the movie, Elmo Magalona’s parents seemed to be good parents and tried to give their son his freedom, but still Magalona got into some trouble. Sophie Albert’s parents were separated with her dad not contacting them and her mom forced to work late to tend to their needs. But Albert’s character turned out fine. Not the ideal daughter — but the most tame and toned down compared to all the youth characters.

Elmo Magalona, Kit Thompson, Coleen Garcia and Sophie Albert all gave convincing performances. Thompson, for one, was very convincing as the most liberated and carefree among his friends, and as that person who couldn’t seem to keep both his libido and emotions in check.

Magalona was the troubled youth who can’t seem to find reason for his existence. He also gave the most memorable line in the film. “Being happy and not having the right to be unhappy are two totally different things.” Because let’s be honest, if I have his parents (which I actually do, YAY), their more than average lifestyle, and a set of friends, who might be a bad influence sometimes, are still there for him no matter what, I would be really happy.

But my favorite character was Chynna Ortaleza’s. It’s quite amazing how she was able to interact and communicate her emotions to a person she was just talking on the phone with.

Technology also played a big part of the film. From selfies, to videos, Instagram and LTE — it became a vehicle for the young characters to connect to their world.

The movie just exuded with energy. Which worked almost 99% of the time. There were just a couple of moments where I felt like the director and editor went crazy with the editing styles used. But that was ultimately forgivable because of emotions felt in the film.

From angst, confusion, anger, depression, and isolation — #Y presented a troubled youth. And it presented them well.

4/5 stars


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