The much-awaited Pinoy action flick two years in the making, is now finally in cinemas. Here’s my review of Erik Matti’s latest masterpiece, BUYBUST.
I’ve had the privilege of watching this film for free at the CCP, as it is the opening film of the Cinemalaya 2018. But if I could do it all again, I’d definitely pay even the highest prices just to see this film. The darkness of the projector and the quality of the audio at the CCP Main Theater doesn’t do this film justice, but it’s okay as this has been my experience every year when I watch Cinemalaya films at the CCP, and it’s never stopped me from doing so.
The film is kind of a slow burn, but is definitely not for the faint of heart. At the beginning of the film, the world we are about to encounter is laid out in front of us, and from then on, the tensions start rising. When the action comes in, it never really stops. Every corner, every nook and cranny of the area is filled with unending obstacles you never really see coming, and it is such a joy to watch, especially considering how well-executed everything is. There’s a shocker in every turn, and Director Erik Matti makes sure every single scene is heart-stopping, which was effective as we were all at the edge of our seats the whole time. It was fun watching this with a big crowd, as the reactions add to the whole experience.
The film is timely, as it is a reflection of what really goes on in this so-called ‘War on Drugs’, and is somewhat of an eye-opener, especially nearing the end of the film, but it really depends on whether the audience wants to open their eyes, or just turn a blind eye all over again. The whole film is a wild experience, but somehow, it manages to stay grounded and be close as possible to reality, even though some fight scenes are might be too graphic and too unrealistic for some. The ending of the film wasn’t really shocking, but it ties the whole film together, directly conveying its message without much fanfare. If I’m going to gauge the effectivity of this film through the crowd’s reactions, I’d say this film has done its job right.
Anne Curtis gives it her all in this film, physically and emotionally. She sheds off the Anne we all know and love in this film. She has proven her worth as a versatile actor thorugh this film. Brandon Vera is quite awkward when it comes to acting, but he’s tolerable. He makes up for it with his fight scenes which were such fun to watch, even though they came off quite unrealistic in the end. Arjo Atayde isn’t in the film for very long, but he surely makes his mark at the very end. This is a role I couldn’t imagine anyone else play. There’s some comic relief care of Alex Calleja, which is sorely needed considering the all the blood and gore you encounter in the film. Every single member of the cast, from the leads to the extras, give it their all as this action spectacle never runs out of fight scenes, and they’re all up to the challenge and they never lose their energy.
BUYBUST is one of the most exhilarating experiences one could ever find in Philippine cinema. It is a mirror of today’s society, a society where we don’t know what’s really happening in the world around us, where we choose to turn a blind eye instead of seeking the truth. This is definitely one for the books, and it would be a shame for everyone not to see it while it’s still there.
My Rating: 10/10
Here’s the trailer for ‘BUYBUST’: