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GRAPHIC NOVEL REVIEW: Halina Filipina

 
HalinaFilipina
HalinaFilipina
HalinaFilipina

 
Overview
 

Story by: Arnold Arre
 
Art by: Arnold Arre
 
Cover by: Arnold Arre
 
Publisher: Nautilus Comics
 
Publisher:
 
FG RATING
 
 
 
 
 
5/ 5


User Rating
1 total rating

 

Raves


Everything is in place -- the storylines, the panelling, the characterization. It shows how Arnold Arre poured his heart and soul in this novel. It is stimulating and refreshing, accompanying a realistic and heartfelt storytelling.

Rants


Some scenes seemed rushed; there were some inconsistencies in some pages.


To sum it all up..

Arnold Arre had demonstrated his prowess again as a great storyteller as he stretches his abilities in using Filipino culture and at the same time in finding love in modern times. Not seen in his previous works, Arnold shown a more intimate and personal touch in this novel that made it unique and heart-warming.  I’ve […]

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Posted November 13, 2015 by

 
FULL REVIEW
 
 

Arnold Arre had demonstrated his prowess again as a great storyteller as he stretches his abilities in using Filipino culture and at the same time in finding love in modern times. Not seen in his previous works, Arnold shown a more intimate and personal touch in this novel that made it unique and heart-warming. 

I’ve been reading graphic novels for a long time and I rarely come across with ones that tackled about love. To be specific, a graphic novel that talks about loveHalinaFilipina stories. Love is a topic that goes under the category that it can either make your novel exaggerated or too bland.  It makes you decide to throw caution in the air. But let’s be real — it’s hard to find that perfect love story in real life and even in our graphic novels. It takes a good storyteller or writer to pull out the best narrative that tells us about love.

Halina Filipina talks about the struggles of Halina Mitchell, a New Yorker, a half-American, who is in Philippines to meet her relatives. Along the way, she encounters Cris, a argumentative film critic who thinks negatively about local movies which mirrors his view and perception in Filipino society. In their adventures, both Halina and Cris found love, self-realization and belongingness in the traffic-stricken streets of Manila. Sounds like 500 Days of Summer? Not really.

In this case, Halina Filipina hits the bull’s-eye. After the long hiatus of Arnold Arre, he made a comeback that made the wait worth it. It took him  13 years to work it, and it paid off. Here in his latest graphic novel, Arnold expands his abilities to tell such story in a way that the characters are directly speaking at you, or you are involved in the story.

It is also a graphic novel that explains and makes you experience the modern Filipino lifestyle. It might limit some casual foreign readers to understand the references. However, it is that type of audience who would mostly welcome this kind of style that Arnold Arre is famous of. He attracts the reader to continue flipping the pages of the books. His use of Filipino reference reflects us, readers in general. In some scenes, Cris might be someone you know, or an aspect of yourself that you want to deny. Without being too direct, Arnold applies this references in subtle and beautiful manner.

Aside from his talented skill in storytelling, Arnold also have a magic touch in making his characters come into life. For example, Halina Mitchell can be anybody whom we know, or even yourself. Halina represents an individual who is looking for belongingness and Cris who is looking for purpose. It may sound stereotypical but Arnold makes their personality interesting by incorporating realistic interactions with their environment and with the other minor characters in the story. In terms of art, there are some pages that needs more details lines. There are some inconsistencies but most of them are in minority aspect. The meticulous illustrations of the places in Manila made the atmosphere of the novel more realistic. It is, as if, you are in that location and witnessing the interaction between Halina and Cris. Arre’s on-the-point use of Filipino cultural influences such as using Eraserheads’ song “Torpedo”, even made you linger in that scene even longer.

Taken as a whole, if you were to ask me, this kind of love story is what I am looking for. I guess also the one that you, our readers, are looking for. Arnold Arre has again, touched our hearts by sharing us the life of Halina and Cris, and to look forward on the blessings and banes of Filipino cultures. Halina Filipina is like a wake-up call… a wake-up call that in every storm, there’s a rainbow. That in every unfamiliar thing that happens, there is a wonderful outcome. Halina Filipina emulates the daily feelings of a Filipino — our desires, our hopes, our dreams and our frustrations. This is probably the most intimate and heart-felt story that we have from Arnold Arre. And with Arnold Arre’s tremendous talent in graphic storytelling, nothing can go wrong.


LJ Zenarosa

 
Nurse by day but a geek 24/7. Cat Lady who loves wrestling. And can eat lots of sweets -- like a LOT.


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