12 [movie reaction]

Last Saturday, I attended another free event in Book Latte hosted by PruLifeUK, "Let's Si₱ and Talk: a millennial's financial advantage" and it was an informative and educational talk on financial and investment literacy. Some new friends invited me to watch 12 in Iloilo Cinematheque and since it only costs 100 pesos I thought it would be interesting. I saw this as one of the movies showing and at first I wasn't into it, I'm really more interested in watching Smaller and Smaller Circles which will show next week. Anyway, on to the movie review!

12 is about a couple who have known each other for 12 years. They have been best friends for 5 years, in a romantic relationship for 7. They have been living together for a long time, and their relationship isn't perfect even after 12 years of knowing each other.

The movie mostly focuses on the two main characters. Alessandra de Rossi plays Erika, an artist and musician, careers she had to give up for her boyfriend Anton (played by Ivan Padilla). The story is told with flashbacks to the happy days of their relationship, and the present time when they are both older and weary of each other. Erika says that she wants space from Anton, since she feels that she has 'lost herself' due to her always following with what he wants.

I know this is mundane but I like the big house where the entire film is set. I love the placement of things in the frames. I admire how they shot the flashback scenes, because the two actors look younger there in contrast to the scenes for the present, where the colors are blue and dark.

The story starts with Anton proposing marriage to Erika but she refuses. The movie feels like one long lovers' quarrel. As viewers, we go through all the details of their relationship and what they hate (and love) about each other. Erika wants to go, and it seems that the two can't live with each other but can't live without each other either. They argue about small things, each other's insecurities, and while the story plays we see their personal histories and tragedies that made them what they are. Though in the end, they both must decide and realize that sometimes true love means 'letting go.'

I think that it's a realistic portrayal of a long-term relationship, of truly knowing another person, both their positve and negative qualities. The movie is both funny and heartbreaking. Anton is an English-speaking dude while Erika just says things directly in Tagalog, and this difference between them makes for good comedy. Ivan Padilla is a new actor and this is his first movie here, and I think he has potential but he can use some improvement. There are parts in the movie that feels repetitive and dragging.

I only knew after watching the movie that Alessandra de Rossi wrote the story! She also wrote and sang the theme song, "Twelve". Didn't know she was a good singer.

While your colors ran into the sun
I was your ocean
Sweet undertow
And you never drowned
I was chasing you
Was I breaking you?

Under this mess we’re in I found
Your lifeless body on the ground
My fingerprints were all around
I was the one who took you down

"Madali kang patawarin kasi gwapo ka. Pero may hangganan din yang gwapo card mo." -Erika
"I want to make others happy so I can be happy until I am unhappy." -Erika

Watch the trailer:

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