From left: In the film, Arjo Atayde, Ketchup Eusebio and Joross Gamboa promise to be best friends forever until one special girl comes along
Threesome and a fair lady
Pablo A. Tariman (The Philippine Star) - February 3, 2019 - 12:00am

Film review: ‘Tol

MANILA, Philippines — You can look at Mikel Livelo’s ‘Tol in many ways.

If you happen to be a younger millennial and not yet saddled by the concerns of the adult world, the movie might just what you need to escape the endless tempest in social media (in one’s time, it used to be tempest in a tea cup) and the endless bickering among politicians.

But for one who just turned septuagenarian, ‘Tol might just look like an aimless romp of three friends who have nothing better to do with their lives. Indeed, they are so close even their jobs brought them together manning the tollgates of a busy highway.

They are young and friendly but for some reason after years of bonding, they promise not to break their friendship for any woman of their fantasy.

But as they say, it is better said than done.

Thus, goes the story of Dimitri, Arthur and Lando played by Arjo Atayde, Ketchup Eusebio and Joross Gamboa.

Their characters go through some absurd moments trying to declare love for a schoolmate who has blossomed into a stunning beauty.

For the most part, the movie entertains because once in your youth, you had your share of the shenanigans this threesome is prone to commit.

But for obvious reason, you get a slice of slapstick and sequences that look like you are treated to a new comedy sitcom.

You look for that moment when all that guffaw-inducing lines will rest to give you what’s keeping this threesome so glued to one object of their fantasies.  Could it be that they lead such aimless millennial lives?

What keeps this movie going is the rapport or what passes for a tight thread of ensemble acting delivered by Arjo, Ketchup and Joross. It doesn’t take long to make you realize that these actors are natural comedians and can convert inane scenarios into moments of fun.  

You discover that Arjo (identified with villain and good-boy roles) can also elicit a good laugh without trying too hard. There is something so natural in this actor that gives comedy a new face.

Between Joross and Ketchup, you see traces of the good old comedy skits and live shows that used to be regular staple fare of the good old Sta. Cruz theaters.

Jessy Mendiola as the threesome’s object of adoration lives her role that presumes her beauty can indeed attract all kinds even if they know she is very much married and a mother of one.

Jessy is the perfect crush ng bayan with her looks and seeming vulnerability.

As it is, the movie might as well be a funny ode to infatuation and what young people go through to get attention from the cynosure of their eyes.

They suffer meals prepared by their loved one and she endures suitors one of whom is even accompanied his mother paying tributes to her son’s multi-racial lineage.

As the movie ends, you see how much of this fun movie you can take as a septuagenarian. You are neither young nor very old but you can see humor when you see one.

Direk Mikel is obviously one director who just wants to have fun even after the credits have ended. One delivered one more volley of guffaws at the finale when a voice-over in the film makes fun of what you go through to finish this film.

Everything taken, ‘Tol delivers as a funny millennial film with no pretension to even deliver an ounce of profundity.

As actor Peter Ustinov once pointed out, “Comedy is simply a funny way of being serious.”

‘Tol released by Reality Entertainment is now showing in cinemas.

ARJO ATAYDE JOROSS GAMBOA KETCHUP EUSEBIO TOL
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