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Review of the movie “Third World Romance” (2023) directed by Dwein Baltazar.
Review of the movie "Third World Romance" (2023) directed by Dwein Baltazar.

Review of the movie “Third World Romance” (2023) directed by Dwein Baltazar.

“Wow, do you pay taxes?”

Featuring the real-life duo of Charlie Dizon and Carlo Aquino, “Third World Romance” is a movie that places more emphasis on the first two words of its title. This unique approach deviates from the overused romantic comedy formula and is now available on Netflix.

In the beginning of the movie, Britney and Alvin meet in a crowd waiting for pandemic relief. Alvin chases after a van in order to get as much food as possible for his debt-ridden mother. This introduces the two main characters and sets the tone for the rest of the film. Alvin becomes fond of Britney and helps her out by getting her a job at the same supermarket where he works. However, their boss is not a good person and Britney’s problems with her mother continue to cause tension in their relationship. Despite Alvin’s family offering financial assistance, their relationship is still strained.

The film “Balt”Woazar” stands out with its depiction of life in the Philippines. The director includes elements such as the struggle of the poor to survive and the exploitation of people by those in power. The title of the film also adds to its intensity. The relationships between parents and children, as well as LGBT life within families, are explored through the stories of Britney and Alvin. Despite its bleak portrayal, the film also promotes understanding and happiness.

The questions addressed in the aforementioned are thought-provoking, as Baltazar provides answers to each one. Can love thrive in this environment? Can young people survive the effects of their parents’ mistakes and the system? Is ambition necessary for happiness in modern times? And in relation to the movie, does Britney truly love Alvin or is she using his love for her own gain? Additionally, it is worth noting that the director does not directly accuse any individual in the film. Even the “villain” is portrayed as a product of his circumstances, leading to a satisfying scene that emphasizes the importance of speaking out, albeit in a somewhat idealized manner.

The movie’s production values are exceptional. Cinematographer Kara Moreno effectively captures the gritty settings while avoiding melodrama with vibrant coloring and cheerful protagonists. The visuals, particularly those in Alvin’s house and on the roof, are striking. Editor Marya Ignacio maintains a quick pace that complements the film’s overall aesthetic, though the ending could have been tighter.

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Carlo Aquino and Charlie Dizon have great chemistry as Alvin and Britney in the movie. The role reversal towards the end is also intriguing, with Britney’s performance being especially captivating. Ana Abad-Santos shines as Britney’s mother, particularly in her moments of fear and drunkenness. Archi Adamos plays the villain convincingly, with one particular scene standing out as the highlight of his performance.

The movie “Third World Romance” is captivating and offers realistic commentary through a romantic comedy approach, rather than relying on traditional family or social drama. This unique approach makes the film both entertaining and refreshing for the genre.