Jan 6, 2024
Conrad Dela Cruz
Conrad Dela Cruz
Jonah Nakila , Jake Montajes, Renz Nabor, Mai Sato
The writer-director Conrad Dela Cruz showcases the minute details of what transpires in the criminal gangs and how it affects the city as well as the country it comes to being in and gradually grows in the same environment. Jonah Nakila, Jake Montajes, Renz Nabor, and Art Arsenio transport the audience to the world Cruz creates and make the viewers feel a sense of being involved with the film.
The plot of End Times revolves around Two thieves who hatch a plan to steal the allegedly eight-million-peso cash that one of their members happens to score.
The short film begins with the camera panning into the scene and follows various characters with a noisy background indicating the daily routine of the city the gang operates in. The upbeat music/sound and the addition of the traffic have been utilised to maintain the secrecy of what the thieves are planning to do next helping the makers establish the subject matter of the film it deals with. The CCTV camera and voiceovers used in End Times to report the crimes happening around the place add elements of Realism and Relatability to the narrative. The set design, colour pallet, location, lighting, sound, dialogues, costume, hair, makeup, jewelry, and props have been kept natural to elevate the mood and provide depth to both the character arcs and the storyline making it intense for the viewers with every twist in the plot. The nonlinear style adopted by Conrad Dela Cruz allows the audience to interact with many subplots therefore they don’t get bored.
In terms of performance, Jake Montajes plays Benny who goes to steal 8-million-peso cash with other valuable stuff that came along with it. Benny is a very critical member and all-rounder responsible for the smooth working of the gang. Montajes with his acting skills portrays the practical as well as the emotional side of Benny’s personality in End Times.
Jonah Nakila plays Cass, the active female member of the group. She helps the boys to make major decisions regarding their well-being and handles situations where there is a difference of opinion among the members. Nakila showcases her fierce avatar as Cass with a hint of softness just the right mix to fit the character arc and the screenplay.
Renz Nabor plays the role of Joel who is the planner of the squad. Nabor depicts all the qualities of a true leader in his body language. The young actor understands the nuances of Joel as the character is multi-dimensional and therefore the audiences also enjoy his transformation from the beginning to the end all through the running time of the short film.
Mai Sato plays Jessa Benny’s wife who is a strong support system and protector he requires all the time considering the nature of his profession. Sato brilliantly illustrates that women can be emotional but also turn into their brutal selves when the danger looms over the people they love and care about.
End Times talks about the importance of money in every person’s life especially when it comes to taking care of family. The short film reiterates the fact that making the right choice in life is very crucial because for every wrong choice one makes, he\she would have to pay a heavy price for it always. The cinematic piece advises us to try and help the govt and other authorities to irradicate all the social evils like crime, violence, drugs, drinking, and smoking. The creative piece highlights the harmful effects of crime children have to endure due to their continuous exposure to the same.