With no great emotional traumas, Henares and Castillo keep this element quietly bubbling away beneath the patchwork narrative of the two leads and their loafer friends Mo and Junfour as they negotiate the bottom rungs of the music scene. Though the ending is never hugely in doubt (given the movie's optimistic tone), it does spring one half-suprise near the end, and to its credit manages to keep the love story within bounds by concentrating its resolution in one, well-written scene near the end which questions the narrow line between love and friendship. It's hardly an earth-moving moment, but both actress-singer Glaiza de Castro (Still Life, Squalor) and actor Jason Abalos (Adela) come through strongly, with de Castro showing she can do more than just cute.
With Abalos mainly in an observer role, the highly photogenic De Castro, now 23, is the main driver of the film, but she's given strong support by Ketchup Eusebio (Cinco) as fellow band member Mo. The showiest playing comes from well-known singer-actor Diether Ocampo as Odie's love-rival — a wicked send-up of a rock lothario, who's more in love with himself than anyone else, that just about stays the right side of going way over the top. The same can't be said of Ramon Bautista, as a super-camp music video director, and Ricardo Cepeda, as a New Age guru, but they're all part of the movie's good-natured fun.
Henares' shooting style is simple and unadorned, with handheld camerawork that's always focused on the actors. The film has no particular sense of place but the dialogue (with some laugh-out-loud moments) and engaging performances make that unnecessary. Given the movie's inconsequential development, trimming of the second half by about 10 minutes would improve its flow, but otherwise editing is tight, with scenes always cut off before over-running their natural length.
'Rakenrol' Movie Trailer: