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What Happened To Andrew Magsilang? Short Film Review

★★★★ Stars


You must practice what you preach to avoid the possible consequences of internal and external conflict. Are we truly in the presence of karma as we walk among others?

What Happened To Andrew Magsilang is a short film centred around a modern-day ‘vlogger,’ Andrew, and his film crew. The crew in working relations with Andrew recite the story of his internet fame and sudden disappearance following unusual events through this documentary-style production. Not only does this style show maximum individuality with its approach; it also has the ability to appeal to a wide range of audiences. It has a modern perspective and so, captures the attention of the younger generation of film lovers. But, because of its progressive nature, it draws in the attention of an older generation of film lovers who can find newfound interest or perhaps nostalgia in its cameraman/interview points of view. The film carries a general sense of ‘found footage’ due to its plot and obvious cinematography decisions which combines its unique properties.

The acting standards within the film are extremely high. It is of great importance when making films of this style that the acting is realistic and flows appropriately throughout – this is expertly achieved by everyone involved. From start to finish, each character has a distinctive stance within the plot and of their views on the occurrences being discussed. There is never a dip in the story; it continues to add layers of suspense which is then wonderfully supported by the actors’ talent.

Andrew in particular, played by Andrew Tenajeros, stands out within the plot; not only as he is the main character but because Tenajeros is able to fully place himself into the role without the need for exaggeration in characteristics. Andrew is shown as a fame-hungry individual, he wants all attention on him and expects all of his needs and wants to be met immediately by his crew or others surrounding him. Tenajeros is not stifled by the expected standards of the performance and presents the character’s personality perfectly. His greed is believable and not over the top, following through with the realistic side of the film.

As briefly mentioned, the plot does not have any dark spots. The script builds layers to an exciting climax and leaves the audience wanting more to be revealed about the life of the characters. Linking to this, characterisation is cleverly designed through each character’s words. Following the documentary-style technique, the characters do not have room to talk about themselves other than their occupation and how they were closely associated with Andrew. This signifies that each sentence a character speaks will present specific personality traits to the audience. Viewers become accustomed to each character’s presence quite quickly during the course of the film due to its stunning writing.

Overall, What Happened To Andrew Magsilang brings attention to a global problem; single-use plastic and the exploitation of good deeds for fame. Through film artistry, attention is brought to how single-use plastic harms the environment, as well as how a sense of false superiority can harm the environment in another spectrum. The consequences of such are bestowed upon the audience in a marvellous mass of creativity. I’m not surprised at all that this short film has won awards thus far, it truly deserves recognition.


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