Indak (Movie Review)

Jen (Nadine Lustre) is an island tourist guide who loves to dance without an audience due to a childhood traumatic experience. Her dancing in the middle of the ocean caught the eyes of the passing tourists and her video went viral in social media. Vin (Sam Concepcion) who happens to be in the same island immediately sought her to be a new member of Indak Pinas , a dance group that would represent the Philippines in the World Dance Competition in South Korea.

WHAT I LIKED!

  • I love the actors. First, Nadine Lustre has the perfect island girl look.  .We all know she’s a total performer. She can sing, dance and act. And I’m happy that  she got a chance to show it off here. She embodies the look of real Filipina beauty. But what I like most from Nadine Lustre was that she has both mainstream and contemporary appeal. Like for example, I can imagine her take indie film roles and do it with justice. Something that won’t work with other mainstream actresses. She has that kind of magic for me.  Sam Concepcion is perfect also for this movie. He can dance but I love his singing more. He also surprised me that he can  act. He has this expressive and vulnerable eyes. I never saw him act so it’s a revelation to me. I want to see more  of him.
  • The visuals and framing. I was blown-away how they showcase Bantayan Island in Cebu . For me, this is a low-key  tourism video and I say that in a positive light.  I love the colors they put whenever the scene is in Bantayan at broad daylight. It brings out the paradise in this island.
  • The music. I appreciate that they invested in original songs for this movie. I personally like the song “Sumayaw sa Indak”. There was this authentic Filipino pride in that song that sends the message of “never giving up” in dancing tune.
  •   It’s rare for Philippine Cinema to have a sort of musical movie targeting younger audiences. I love the song and dance numbers. On top of that, there was this whole poetic narrations from Nadine that anchored the whole movie. It is ambitious. I like it and it turns out really fresh.

MESSAGE of THE MOVIE

Don’t let a one-time disappointment pull you down and limit your world. And also the support you  can give to your friends and family can go a long way in helping them face their fears. This theme explored between the relationship of Jen and her mother (Yayo Aguila). Their relationship is the most moving part of the movie.

WHAT I DON’T LIKE!

  • Underdeveloped sub-plots. Is there a love triangle? Not so much. Is this a love story? Yes, kind of. Is this about the journey of a Filipino creatives braving the international stage? Yes. There was a chemistry with Nadine and Sam but it felt like the movie skipped on building it up appropriately. So when  it’s time for the characters to make drama out  if it, there was this lack of intensity.  I have to mention that I specially hated the scene at the airport. So there’s a love triangle drama going on in the most inconvenient time. While, it can give the movie the conflict it should have, the lack of development leading to that conflict is just problematic. Perhaps, the movie has some issues with  balancing between their journey to the world dance and the romance backstory.
  • There were awkward lip syncing going on in some of the parts of the movie. It’s not the talent’s fault because their voices are really great. It’s just the technicality of syncing their voice and the video. And it’s unsettling to watch.

FINAL VERDICT! ★★★½

3.5 out of 5 stars! Despite the many flaws in the story, the movie is refreshing, brave and has good message.

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###########SPOILER time. Beware of the following section if you haven’t watched it. You have been warned.#####################################

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1.SUDDEN unprofessionalism from Nadine’s character. As I’ve mentioned above, there was this annoying airport scene wherein Jen did not show up in the airport for their boarding time. I didn’t get the sudden drama of not showing of having second thoughts.  Also, Vin and Jen are living in the same condo. Why don’t they go the airport together? In the end Jen showed to the airport and the following scenes suggests that she and Sam flew on a different plane. Jen’s selfishness carried on before the competition itself as she did not inform the team that she’s already in the venue. And she just showed when they are about to dance. I get it that she’s heartbroken but the events leading to it did not get proper build-up to make her actions justifiable.

2. They didn’t win as champions in World Dance Competition.

3. Sam’s character was engaged in the past and it turns out that he has not moved on and has been using Jen as rebound. Some scenes suggests that the girl might have been dead already.

4. It was not really clear if they became officially together at the end. Or Indak team were just having a vacation in Bantayan Island after the competition.

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And that’s it ! I’ve been watching a lot of films these days. And I have more movie reviews coming up. If you have watched this film, let me now your thoughts below!

It’s not too late for everything,

GUREZU ❤

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