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Review: 'Never Tear Us Apart' (formerly titled 'Fisting') challenges the notion of a family drama

fisting never tear us apart whammy alcarazen movie review

On the forefront, Whammy Alcarazen’s ‘Never Tear Us Apart’ is a technical exercise of cinema. It limits its scope by vertically shooting it using an iPhone. Faces are cropped. Close-ups are tighter. Images feel incomplete. Alcazaren noted in an interview how our mobile phones can be treated as an alternative mediator for films. Mobile phones, in the individuality of its form and variation, can be figuratively analyzed as a mirror for the self, especially in their most intimate state. 


fisting never tear us apart whammy alcarazen movie review

And it really seems intimacy is what Alcazaren intended for this film, an introspection of the author’s family and the disappointments that seep between each moment. It could also be interpreted as a story of personal climaxes, illustrated in respective releases of pain and longingness.


fisting never tear us apart whammy alcarazen movie review

By following three characters: a father, mother, and their son, the film presents a family drama that challenges the notion of the genre. Here, arguments are more internalized while emotions are emulated in distance. 


fisting never tear us apart whammy alcarazen movie review

These being said, my interpretations may be wrong from that of Alcarazen, and that’s the beauty of it. Art gives its audience an opportunity to know more about its author indirectly. In ‘Never Tear Us Apart,’ we get to know Alcarazen intimately. We may never really share the same point of what he is telling, but at least we have a grasp of where he is coming from. 


fisting never tear us apart whammy alcarazen movie review

Never Tear Us Apart’ might not be welcoming for everyone, but it truly is worth the experience if you stay. And as Ricky Davao’s character in the film puts it, “it’s a lot to swallow.” 


fisting never tear us apart whammy alcarazen movie review

'Never Tear Us Apart' is part of Cinema One Originals 2018, which is currently running until October 21, 2018.



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