Director: Mark Meily
Screenplay: Ned Trespeces
Cast: Jericho Rosales, Andi Eigenmann, Meg Imperial, Vandolph Quizon
Mark Meily’s ABNKKBSNPLAKO movie experience is akin to being handed a present wrapped in a glossy package: it makes you giddy in excitement to see what’s inside, only to find that the box is empty and hollow.
The glossy wrappings are pleasing enough: we are taken a trip down memory lane through the eyes of Bob Ong, whose youth and naïveté was wonderfully portrayed by Adrian Cabido. Young Bob struggled with the innocuous evils of elementary education – corporal punishment, rainy days, gossipy cafeteria ladies, badly-timed stomach aches–and then morphs into an awkward pimply teen in high school. These are all conveniently triggered by a high school reunion which Bob (now played by Jericho Rosales) hesitates to attend, but goes anyway in the hopes of meeting his “special someone.”
Nostalgia is nice and easy, and this much is already guaranteed to us by the original material. The eponymous book gave us various references which tickles the fancies of a true blue 80’s kid while appealing to the general experience we’ve all likely to have had through years of education. The movie undoubtedly gave us this. Meily smartly clings to the nostalgia factor, but he pulls a trick or two from his sleeves by adding spiffy lettering and animation to accompany the scenes, cleverly-edited flashbacks, and properly-cued and chosen music. In a rarely-seen maneuver, Rosales breaks the fourth wall and directly addresses the audience. For a movie about the education system, however, it felt too neat and sharpened in an attempt to be witty, seemingly afraid to be too immersed in the context with which it finds itself in.