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MOVIE REVIEW: ‘Birdshot’ (2017)

It’s official, TBA Studios is now my most favorite film outfit in the Philippines. From 2015’s breakout historical epic, Heneral Luna, to this year’s I’m Drunk I Love You and Bliss, TBA has proven that in filmmaking, quality content is always the king. Will it be the his is my review of their latest release, Mikhail Red’sBirdshot’.


We got the chance to see this film before the nationwide release (and for free, by the way) at the Opening Night of Cinemalaya 2017, and after the screening, we were all floored by what we just watched. It’s the kind of film that lingers on in your mind long after watching it.

Screenshot from ‘Birdshot’ trailer

The first word that comes to mind when someone asks me to describe Birdshot is ‘intense‘. From start to finish, its sheer intensity is veiled with subtlety, which creates tension without having to resort to lengthy dialogue or hysterics. So many factors contribute to why this film is so good. It may look like it has a very thin plot, but there’s actually more to it. While not as complex as I thought it would be, the story is still compelling, coupled with the solid direction of Mikhail Red. The cinematography is top-notch, everything in here looks great, which is what I expected with Mycko David in charge.

Screenshot from ‘Birdshot’ trailer

But among all this, what really stands out here are the brilliant performances from the actors. Of course, there’s John Arcilla, who has proven time and time again how talented he is as an actor, and his work here in Birdshot is no exception. Here, he takes some cues from his portrayal as Heneral Luna, but he still makes this character distinct enough from previous roles. Arnold Reyes shines here as he plays a damaged cop, corrupted by his surroundings. You’ll see how he slowly falls apart, as he continues to search for the truth. It’s my first time to watch Mary Joy Apostol, and I must say, she has a lot of potential.

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Screenshot from ‘Birdshot’ trailer

Now, I don’t know if it was just me, but I got a bit confused as to what time period this film takes places in. They’re seen using rotary phones and some pretty old cars and buses, and yet they work in what appears to be a modern-looking police station. I don’t know, it’s just nitpicking at this point, it never really ruined my viewing experience anyway.

Screenshot from ‘Birdshot’ trailer

Birdshot is a masterpiece, a masterful showcase of talent from one of the youngest directors in the country. It is a prime example of modern Philippine cinema. It shows what the country’s film industry can do, proving that we aren’t just limited to the same old genres offered to us by bigger film outfits.

My Rating: 9/10

P.S. Birdshot is one of the 12 entries in this year’s “Pista Ng Pelikulang Pilipino”, from August 16-22, 2017. I highly encourage you to watch this, as well as the rest of the entries. Let’s all support Philippine cinema! 🙂

P.P.S. This post, no matter how biased it looks, is not sponsored by TBA Studios or any of its affliates. Sana lang nga, sponsored. LOL


One comment

  1. I think, like its environment’s nondescript location, the film’s time setting is intentionally vague. Maybe the late 1980s? It probably doesn’t matter much. It just adds to the story’s sense of isolation, something that wouldn’t have worked as well if the film was set in today’s connected world.


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