After much delay and anticipation, Quark Henares’ movie-baby, Rakenrol, has finally hit the theaters. After all the Hollywood hoopla that came with the US summer blockbusters—Thor, Captain America, Transformers 3, get the drift?— it feels like a breath of fresh air to have something homegrown to tickle our movie-trip taste buds.
The movie does not disappoint. It tells the story of best friends Odie (Jason Abalos) and Irene (Glaiza de Castro) who decide to start a rock band called Hapipaks. They are joined by a bipolar bully (outstandingly played by Alwyn Uytingco) and a former punk-turned-barista (an equally impressive Ketchup Eusebio). As they struggle with their music, friendship, and the trappings of young love they find comfort in the local underground rock scene.
With Henares and Sandwich’s Diego Castillo at the helm of things, you'll know that Rakenrol is an intimate look at the scene they are both a part of and love. It’s a well-baked movie that explores youth and the misadventures that come with growing up and the local band scene. But while the movie made a home of the whole local scene, the themes it takes on are universal: music, relationships, growing up, manning up, art, your passion and obsessions, and the like.
The acting was superb, with shout-outs to Diether Ocampo, who is hilarious playing the parody of a self-indulgent rock star. Abalos and de Castro are naturals, while Uytingco and Eusebio pulled out the laughs.
The only problem with Rakenrol is that it’s so personal that some may not get the many inside jokes Henares and Castillo have so peppered the film with. If you were there, you'd love it. If you weren't, it may feel like solving context clues. But that is but a minor detail.
In the spirit of Rakenrol and Hapipaks, we’ve come up with a list of fictional movie bands that have head-banged their way into film history.