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REVIEW: Saving Sally

 

 
Overview
 

Directed by: Avid Liongoren
 
Produced by: Rocketsheep Studios
 
Written By: Charlene Sawit-Esguerra
 
Starring: Enzo Marcos and Rhian Ramos
 
MTRCB Rating: PG
 
Genre: , ,
 
FG RATING
9.0
9/ 10


User Rating
3 total ratings

 

Raves


A wonderfully made mesh of animation and reality in a typical Manila setting, coupled with the cast's natural portrayal of the characters.

Rants


The plot might be pretty basic for most viewers.


Let me start this review with a question: What were you doing back in 2006? Perhaps you’re trapped between the throes of school life, as you run back and forth in a bid to pass tests and complete your requirements. Perhaps you’re still a young kid, traversing the resides of a fantasy realm through your […]

1
Posted December 26, 2016 by

 
FULL REVIEW
 
 

Let me start this review with a question: What were you doing back in 2006?

Perhaps you’re trapped between the throes of school life, as you run back and forth in a bid to pass tests and complete your requirements. Perhaps you’re still a young kid, traversing the resides of a fantasy realm through your comic books or games. Or perhaps, you were already a mature adult then, prepping for family life.

A group of individuals begged to differ, however. They gathered inside a small room in Teachers Village, planting the seeds for a vision no other Pinoy production saw possible. It took ten years (Does that sound familiar? Oh, right, that RPG you’re playing right now.), multiple reshoots, and countless campaigns, before the film headed to completion.

The result, as you all know it, is Saving Sally.

A Typical Love Story?

The plot is actually pretty basic, if you think about it. A geeky and aspiring artist named Marty (played by director Enzo Marcos) meets Sally (Rhian Ramos), a quirky gadget inventor, whom the former harbours unrequited feelings to. Things get complicated with the arrival of Sally’s boyfriend and the harsh hammer of her disapproving parents.

ss2

Like I said, it sounded typical in the observation of the context, but what makes it beyond the adjective aforementioned would be the manner the entirety of the story was rendered. It was a beautiful mesh of reality and cel-shaded animation, resulting in a Manila clad in fantasy and steampunk-esque fashion. Despite the abundance of social issues in the film (e.g. Sally’s domestic problems and lovelife), Saving Sally circumvents the way they discuss them, taking on the said themes with an approach virtually acceptable for everyone. Even kids.

This isn’t your Manila. Unless you’re Marty.

What makes Saving Sally different from the rest of Pinoy films is its unique mold of combining live-action with cel-shaded animation techniques and a drizzle of CGI. Taking inspiration from various Pixar creations, they transform the typical Manila setting into a comical one, with locations looking surreal, yet beautiful. The movie also makes it a point to serve homage to popular Pinoy comic book creations, as well as taking nods to some aspects of our culture.

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Another point worth noticing is the protagonist’s perspective. Unlike normal people of his age, Marty would view the people annoying to him as monsters, depicted in the form of cel-shaded avatars. In hindsight, one can surmise that the look and feel of the “Sally-verse” can be attributed to his imagination.

These ain’t your typical protagonists.

Despite the rather basic plot, let me warn you: Marty and Sally ain’t your typical protagonists. Moreso, their portrayal makes us want to sympathize with them, and in a way, relate with their personalities and issues.

Enzo Marcos’ Marty is a representation of the geek demographic, molded with a serving of problems similar to that of Peter Parker. He is the idealistic good guy, the individual who would never stop pursuing the one he loves, even if he hurts himself in the process. Enzo hits those aspects in bullseye mode in a surprising, yet natural way.

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Rhian Ramos’ Sally, on the other hand, is the geek girl every nerdy guy dreamed of. Her quirkiness, borderline-tomboyish attitude, as well as her eye for adventure might be too idealistic, but what makes her character interesting are her flaws. For all its worth, she is still human, and Rhian Ramos proves just why she is the right person to tap for Sally.

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Take A Leap. Save Sally.

In conclusion, Saving Sally goes where no indie filmmaker has gone before. Its beautiful hybrid between animation and reality easily etches a mark, and even edges out other Pinoy movies in existence. It also serves as a love letter to the people trapped in the blades of unrequited love, and to the round pegs who fear embracing who they really are. Take a leap of faith, unmask your facade, and save your “Sally.”

Are those ten years of hype worth it? A big yes.


Yuri Mangahas

 
Yuri is magnanimously juggling between two managerial jobs: A technical manager position for an advertising/copy-writing company, and an associate editorial position for a fashion and lifestyle magazine. Nevertheless, he still finds time taking photos and seeking for geek nirvana.


One Comment


  1.  
    Bernie
    10

    If you’re going to watch just one Filipino rom-com in your life, this is the one! I considered this film the best of the 2016 Metro Manila Film Festival, and I have been vindicated since. It won the most international awards for any Filipino movie in 2017, and its director, Avid Liongoren, was the only 2016 MMFF director to have been nominated for the coverted Urian Award!

    Yes, the story is simple, and it serves as a beautiful canvas and scenery for the viewer to truly feel for Marty and Sally!





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