Lemme say this first before I start this review: This movie is well-worth your money so go ahead and watch it now. There I’ve said it. Now if you want to know WHY I believe it is worth your money, then stick around for what maybe a lengthy review, as I point out why I believe RPG Metanoia isn’t only the first 3D pinoy-made film, but also a rare gem in pinoy-made films that I can’t even fathom how the hell it even existed in the first place, but here it is and I’m loving it. XD
Now, lemme simply set your expectations straight. This movie is definitely NO Pixar film. But that doesn’t mean it’s a bad film, far from it!! Infact as soon as the first few minutes starts to trickle in and the movie opens up to a glorious morning scene that’s distinctly pinoy, you’d be in for a treat. The mundane everyday mornings we pinoys have is meticulously rendered in 3D that you can help but feel at home the moment it sets in. In fact, I can’t help but smile and be amazed at how heartwarming it is to see a typical pinoy morning in 3D. Perfectly complimented by a warm opening song, and you would feel right at home. And you know what, the way they executed it didn’t feel “baduy” at all!!
And that’s one of RPG Metanoia’s small triumphs in this film. The team was able to use their creativity and imagination to turn what could have been a corny, typical, and boring pinoy cliché and make it into something that’s beautiful and heartwarming. And this film is full of that; pinoy cliches found in most corny pinoy films turned into something magical.
The team of AmbientMedia and Thaumatrope Animation did something really special with RPG Metanoia and it shows. It’s as if these guys are fed up of the crap being shown every year in MMFF, and decided its about damn time pinoys are given something MUCH BETTER. Kudos to you guys!!
The story in a nutshell is about a young kid named Nico (voiced by Zaijan Jaranilla) who is engrossed with videogames and lives a sheltered life where he spends most of his time playing his favorite MMORPG (Massively Multiplayer Online Role Playing Game) called “Metanoia”.
The reason for that is he’s abit of a klutz and is easily discouraged when he loses or does something wrong. Thus he believes that he’d rather be inside the online game he’s playing because inside the game where he plays as the Vagabond-class character named “Zero”, he can do anything.
Together with his friends, he finds solace and acceptance inside the computer café called “Bomb Shelter”, where he lives his online life going on adventures and quests, while his mother (voiced by Eugene Domingo) worries that he may end up not being able to socialize and enjoy life outside of the online game.
After meeting another player who encourages Nico to step outside of his house and experience life outside of the game, he slowly adjusts and discovers that there’s more to life than just playing videogames.
Essentially it’s a coming of age story of a youth finding his place in the world, and learning how to deal with changes in his life, and how to surmount challenges. Now again, if this was handled by another local director/scriptwriter, this would have ended lame, corny and too kiddie. But like I said earlier, the team handled the story with care and the script was written with a lot of attention to detail, and it shows. Lines were naturally done, and the script was tightly written leaving no room for stuff that’s out of place or feeling weird. The humor also doesn’t come off as overbearing or “pilit” and comes off naturally. The team definitely made sure, that not only kids would end up enjoying the film, but adults as well. In fact, the film brings a lot of nostalgic moments to adults who were once kids as well, that I can’t help but smile.
Now there are concerns from people about the animation’s framerate as seen in trailers as shown below:
I understand that it can be irksome and that the framerate can be slow and choppy at times, but after watching the movie itself, I kinda had a feeling the animators INTENTIONALLY made it choppy. You see, the choppy framerate only happens when the kids are INSIDE the game, but everything is slick and silky smooth when the kids are OUTSIDE the game. The choppy framerate is common to local MMORPGs (believe me its real) due to lag. I’ve even seen someone post a comment on RPG Metanoia’s fanpage in Facebook, saying the low framerate in the film made him feel as if he’s playing a real local MMORPG. I guess the animators did a good job then.
But choppy framerates aside, the animation is really top-notch and the attention to detail oozes with every scene. Each of the characters are animated to life with such flair that they end up being so endearing and charming, that they are such fun to watch.
I end this review with a note to the makers of the movie: I simply can’t wait to line up next year to watch your next masterpiece!! Bravo!!