Jul 31, 2023
Noriel M. Jarito
Noriel M. Jarito
Noriel M. Jarito, Chanel Latorre, Vic Tiro
An Overseas Filipino Worker or OFW is forced to return home to the Philippines only to find that his long-term partner has been unfaithful in his absence.
Rindido (Deranged) opens with a statement from writer-director-star Noriel M. Jarito outlining his concerns with the mass migration of Filipino people, who are forced to leave the country to work abroad in order to provide for their families, and the intense isolation and subsequent societal issues that come with such a burden. After a baffling prologue, we see the protagonist Efren (Noriel M. Jarito) return to the Philippines, as he wanders the streets the handheld, fast-cutting style captures snippets of his surroundings. He seems out of time with the world around him, unable to keep up. He feels alien, at odds with the place that was once his home. A dynamic way of depicting the character’s difficulties on returning home. However, once he makes it back to his apartment and his partner, Rindido becomes frustratingly one-dimensional.
The partner in question (Chanel Latorre), is given a limited role. She is introduced as a sex object, ogled by the men in the neighbourhood as she walks by in a figure-hugging dress. From there she flirts with one of them which is duly interrupted by the arrival of Efren who chases the love rival off. After she performs sex with Efren, they begin to discuss her betrayal. All is not as it seems as she begs for his forgiveness, but he envisages her seducing another man by performing sexually suggestive actions with a banana which causes him to launch into a murderous rage. The encounter ultimately lacks complexity, even though the misogyny appears evident, below the surface is nothing but more misogyny. There is no exploration of loneliness, long-distance relationships, possessiveness, masculinity, mental health, or any other obvious themes that could have been addressed let alone anything abstract.
What follows is an outpouring of male rage as Efren seeks out and violently attacks those who had slept with his partner to avenge his lost honour, or something to that effect. The remaining run time consists of hammy fight scenes made dramatically worse by unnecessary post-production sound effects and poor audio mixing. And when the film comes to a close there appears to be nothing left of the sympathetic thread that was started concerning the real-life struggles of OFWs.
Rindido is so absorbed with being a second-rate revenge thriller that it stomps all over any interesting dialogue that could have been had concerning OFWs. It is unclear as to why Jarito leads with a statement about the issue if it is going to be passed over so readily for what is just another tale about a so-called ‘crime of passion’.