“Smaller and Smaller Circles” Review: A Smart and Gripping Crime Thriller

Directed by Raya Martin

“Time and forgetfulness are the allies of abusers.”

There is something eerie in Raya Martin’s film adaptation of Smaller and Smaller Circles but that makes the film feel more authentic in presenting its story.

A young boy dies and was dumped in Payatas. As the investigation got a lot more to handle for the police, two Jesuit priests (Buencamino, Lucero) enter to help solve what seems to be a work of a serial killer.

F. H. Batacan’s novel is just more significant today than ever. We live in dangerous times, reading dangerous lines online and on print. Thus makes Smaller and Smaller Circles film adaptation a must-see. It covers not just murder and mystery, but also politics not just in the government but also in the church and the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI).

The film gets to be one of those rare Filipino films today – a smart and gripping crime thriller. The fact that we don’t usually have crime thrillers in Philippine cinema is already a reason why Filipinos should see it. But in addition to that, Smaller and Smaller Circles is a good crime thriller. From the story to execution, you get to be immersed in Nonie Buencamino and Sid Lucero’s journey into solving crimes.

Smaller and Smaller Circles should be recommended to be seen by everyone (well, except for children below 13 years old). This isn’t made for the lousy viewer, it’s made to make you think, to excite you, to thrill you. But even with that, the story is still accessible to a regular film audience.

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“Smaller and Smaller Circles” is now showing in cinemas nationwide from TBA Studios, distributed by Columbia Pictures. Rated R-13 by the MTRCB.

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