A buddy of mine named Will, reviewed a film on his blog that peaked my interest. It was entitled RPG Metanoia and it just so happened to be a Filipino production, the country’s first ever full-length 3D animated film. I confess that I had my share of red flags about this film, but, after watching a few minutes of this, and especially living as a gamer, this movie became interesting. The plot goes a bit like this: A character named Nico and his friends are skillful and avid players of the MMORPG Game known as Metanoia. Of course they get sucked in ala .Hack anime series. It also has a lot of values about family and friends so its a good film for all ages.
Things change when a malevolent program takes over the minds of virtual users, and render them in a zombie-like trance. It is one video game movie that really does mirror, interpret, and captures the essence of MMORPG gaming. I was wondering how this film was so spot on about the culture but then I remember that Phillipines is populated with plenty of gamers who can understand and display the psyche of a gamer quite effectively on screen. Both children and grown-ups can get something out of this movie. Although I didn’t watch this film in 3-D, it is a no brainer to exclaim how terrific the animation is done. The music score was also spot on and only heightened already great scenes. If you’re a parent who wonders why your kid spends all of his time in front of the computer, watch this movie.
Many people keep complaining about the stagnation of Philippine cinema but they fail to support films that break the tiresome mold. Trust me, even I am guilty of this as well but this film changed my perspective. There appear to be plans to distribute this to foreign countries, as the subtitles for the Korean and Japanese dialog were in English, instead of Filipino. This struck me as odd and it seems there were also other little odds and ends in the film as well. Will has reported that the 3D effects only happen when the characters are within Metanoia, while scenes in the real world are 2D. Seeing it only in 2D I didn’t catch this but it doesn’t seem like that technique would add anything particularly interesting.
Like I stated before, I, who have never been a big fan of Filipino films, went into the film expecting to be disappointed. Well, Dreamworks & Pixar, eat your heart out! RPG Metanonia includes the voices of Aga Muhlach and Eugene Domingo (as Nico’s parents), Zaijan Jaranilla, Mika dela Cruz, Vhong Navarro. They have done a superb job as providing the voices. Too many films are trying to push the envelope nowadays, with Toy Story 3 being a good example to having numerous scenes that deal with death. RPG: MEtanoia is an animated film which brings you back to the age of innocence. Director Luis Suarez guides the film with a sure hand and it ends up as a brisk, winning effort with endearing and touching moments. Color me surprised, Phillipines have a film they can be proud of, thumbs up!