Shot in the surfing paradise of Baler, Mario Cornejo’s “Apocalypse Child” is a story about Ford (Sid Lucero), an experienced surfer who was always been told that his father is a famous director. According to her mother, Chona (Ana Abad Santos), when Francis Ford Coppola went to Baler to shoot the ‘70s movie “Apocalypse Now,” she had an affair with him, which led to her giving birth to Ford.
Despite this, Ford grew up with a comfortable lifestyle. He has spent his entire life by the beach, joining surfing leagues and teaching tourists how to surf. Because of this, he met his young, free-spirited girlfriend, Fiona (Annicka Dolonius), who is in town to tend to her dying grandmother. Despite the age gap between the two, Chona has shown no disapproval of their relationship.
However, when Ford’s childhood friend and the town’s congressman, Rich (RK Bagatsing) and his fiancé Serena (Gwen Zamora), went home for the burial of his father, a ranging tension between the best friends stirred up the conflict of the story.
Consequently, hints of numerous events from the past slowly unfold. These memories, all concealed by lies and half-truths, caused them to be entangled in a weave of complex relationships. In the end, they all found themselves struggling to escape from it.
All of these characters have shown truthful emotions as they experience love, pain, sex, friendship, motherhood, sorrow, hatred, and revenge. But, what makes them more interesting is the portrayal of each of them by a set of powerhouse actors.
Sid Lucero turned out yet another remarkable performance for this role exhibiting a more candid characterization. Ana Abad Santos, on the other hand, has developed her character with nuances and gestures, which made it easier for the viewers to see Chona’s inner self who is still in denial of her dark past.
There is also Annicka Dolonius, whose portrayal of Fiona was too loveable yet daring that you’ll find yourself weeping to her heartbreak in the middle of the film. She was able to prove her acting prowess by playing it different from her remarkable roles in “Pisay” and “Ang Nawawala.” Here, she was able to give a more genuine and poignant characterization.
RK Bagatsing’s portrayal of Rich appeared calm and subtle, ironically, for someone who has a painful experience. It worked for establishing him as a hotshot person, though, especially that Rich also has a hearing impairment. He, however, also missed the chance to successfully highlight the main issue between Rich and his father, as well as the conflict that he has with Ford.
Gwen Zamora (Rich’s fiancé, Serena) and Archie Alemania (Ford’s friend, Jordan) also gave impressive and memorable characterization to their characters. Gwen did not only ignite the fire in the film with her sexiness but also with her thespian side, which exuded in her character’s every scene. Archie also stood out, as usual, with his funny yet convincing portrayal.
While the actors’ portrayal appeared tasteful, considering the complexity of the storyline, the movie was bland at some points. This is due to some of the unsuccessful reveals and highlights. All throughout the film, many questions were left unanswered like the confusing issue about Chona’s past, the truth about Ford’s father, among others.
However, with the combination of a breathtaking setting, the director’s keen eye for stunning shots, and the cool soundtrack from Armie Millare of Up Dharma Down, Monster Jimenez and Mario Cornejo both did a great job in turning the story into a movie worth watching. The storytelling will also take you to a different view on what is out there in the waves of life through the symbolisms that it holds—all powerful, honest, and relevant.