TANDEM (2015) REVIEW
Directed by: King Palisoc
Tandem follows the story of brothers Roman (Nico Antonio) and Rex (JM de Guzman), who works through the traffic-laden streets of Metro Manila as riding-in-tandem robbers. Roman, a gun for hire before he got jailed protects his younger brother by keeping their crimes limited to low risk while Rex on the other hand grows restless and thinks that it will be fine to make more evil crimes for more money. Everything got worse when the police syndicates interfered with their life and blackmails them to work as hitmen for the new chief of police.
What works best in the film is its great ensemble cast. Rochelle Pangilinan is such a revelation in this film, she provides a great contrast to the characters of Roman and Rex as an expectant mother. When all feels so hopeless there is a child on the way to lighten the mood and she is really effective in that part. JM de Guzman is really good in portraying Rex, the kinda innocent guy who seems to not know what is wrong or right and seems to have no idea about life at all. The chemistry of JM and Nico as brothers works really well that you might forget that they are doing illegal things because you are already sympathizing with them. It works well in a very small world of Rex and Roman, the shots of chaotic Manila is very pivotal, that alone is worth watching as it will never bore you and will keep you from intensely waiting on what will happen next.
Tandem may have a a touch of nihilism but thanks to the great balance in the story and characters it didn’t feel so depressing at all. You may learn to love, hate or maybe both the two criminals and find yourself in a struggle on believing that their crimes are justifiable by their willingness to survive in this world. I just wish they tried to expand more of the story as there is so much more to uncover the world of these tandem robbers.
3.5 OUT OF 5 STARS
“Tandem” is showing until December 24 at SM Megamall, Glorietta and Robinsons Movieworld Manila cinemas from Quantum Films, Buchi Boy Films, Tuko Film Productions. Entry to the Metro Manila Film Festival New Wave Category. Rated R-16 by the MTRCB.