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Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Cinema One Originals 2017 Movie Review: Joseph Teoxon's "Throwback Today"

If given a chance, would you want to change your life? What would you change? Or should I say, when? That is the question posted by Joseph Teoxon's sci-fi dramedy "Throwback Today". The film stars Carlo Aquino who plays Primo, the protagonist of the story. It also stars Empress Schuck, Annicka Dolonius, Allan Paule and Kat Galang and is one of the official entries to this year's Cinema One Originals.

In Throwback Today, we follow Primo, who seems like he has ran out of luck in his life: he is jobless, he's about to get thrown out of their house and the girl he loves is about to get married. That is until one day, he discovers that he can communicate with his younger self through an online chat room. Primo is convinced that he is failing so much today because of what he has done in the past, so he decided to convince his younger self to help him change the past to change the future.

Carlo Aquino plays Primo
Screenshot from the trailer

During the first few minutes of the film, I immediately thought that this has some similarities with the Hollywood movie The Butterfly Effect (2004) starring Ashton Kutcher. Both film feature a male lead character trying to change his current situation in life by changing things from his past. Both films have drastic consequences in the present for every change that takes place in the past. But Joseph Teoxon's sci-fi dramedy has enough distinction from the latter. Though the two films have a similar premise, Throwback Today has more heart. It's more lighter in tone and thus, far more enjoyable than the other one. Although the concept of changing your past isn't new anymore as we have seen a lot of films recycling the same concept over and over again, this sci-fi entry stands out with it's fun and entertaining execution.

The film's witty and humorous script  was successful in keeping audiences' attention for a long time. There's a lot of really hilarious moments that made the crowd laugh out loud inside the cinema. The film never felt boring or dragging. The pacing was consistent all throughout. The characters were all written very well. It's like they're someone you've known from your high school or college days. These are characters that you can really connect with. That you can see yourself into. That's why it's hard not to fall for and root for these characters. I also loved that the story did not turned out like I expected it to be. The last part of the film was unpredictable. It took  different turn and decided to leave the whole thing to it's main character to resolve. It's nice that the film took a different route for it's resolution. It was totally unexpected and I really appreciate it. It's almost felt like watching a feel good movie.

Of course, the biggest asset of the film is it's talented cast. It's so nice to see Annicka Dolonius again after her stint in one of my favorite indie films, Ang Nawawala (2012) and in the surf movie Apocalypse Child (2015). She fit the role as she has this mysterious aura whenever she's onscreen. Empress Schuck was also good in her portrayal of Primo's best friend. But the real star of the film is Carlo Aquino, who gives a very committed performance as the protagonist, Primo. After his stint in the youth oriented film Bar Boys earlier this year, I've decided to follow Carlo Aquino's next projects and Throwback Today was the perfect movie for him. He definitely looked and felt so convincing as Primo. Whenever he's onscreen, one can't help but to be magnetized with his charm. He is able to shift from high and low emotions and still keep us glued to the screen with presence.

I pretty much enjoyed Joseph Teoxon's sci-fi "Throwback Today". This is the type of film that anyone can easily appreciate. It isn't bombastic in any way. But it's a simple movie that will leave a smile in your face once you leave the cinema.

Rating: ✰✰  of 5

"Throwback Today" (2017)
Directed by Joseph Teoxon, starring Carlo Aquino, Empress Schuck, Annicka Dolonius, Allan Paule and Kat Galang
An official entry to the 2017 Cinema One Originals Film Festival

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