Verdict: Value for Money

Pinoy Rebyu Score: 3.40 (15 ratings)

Genre: Drama

Director: Paul Soriano

Writers: Froi Medina, Paul Soriano

Cast: Maja Salvador, John Arcilla, Tetchie Agbayani, Eliza Pineda, Sue Prado, Jason Abalos, Elma Muros

Synopsis: The film tells the story of a tomboyish Ilocano lass from Ilocos Norte, Thelma (Maja Salvador), whose family is beset with challenges when she discovers her uncanny gift of speed. Her talent then opens doors for her – to elevate her family’s situation and change the course of her own life. But to do that she will have to run- against all obstacles, against personal hindrances, against shadows from her past, and against her own self-doubts. Will she ever accomplish her dream as a succesful athlete? (From Wikipedia)



5.0          Jojo Panaligan (Manila Bulletin)

“Soriano’s visuals alternate between getting that ‘classic’ feel when scenes were shot in the province; and that adventurous vibe in camera movements in the scenes shot in Manila. Soriano is versatile and so sure of how to deliver on what he had set out to achieve that there’s not a single scene in Thelma that you can’t capture and frame as art.” (Read full review)

5.0        Back to the Frying Pan

“When there are so many good aspects in a film, the director has a tendency to overdo it. However, Soriano was able to contain everything and maintain it well. I’m more than excited to see his future projects.” (Read full review)

4.5         Rod Magaru (blogger)

“The romantic touch of the film is not too pushy, enough to tell the audience that the film is about Thelma’s struggle to pursue her dreams.” (Read full review)

4.0        Ria Limjap (

“All in all, Thelma is extremely poignant and watchable—a great cast, sweeping vistas of the Ilocano coast, and a compelling story about a poor girl who ran to make her life better.” (Read full review)

4.0        Wilfred Cabrera (Me Likes Art)

“To put it simply, everything looks great, and there is storytelling in its imagery alone, providing a viewing experience that is more visceral than cerebral.” (Read full review)

4.0         Stephanie Mayo (Films and Events Check)

Thelma is fast-paced, heartfelt, touching and unpretentious, with an engaging storyline that will hook you to finish the whole 1 hour and 35 minute-running time. It’s a real breather; a pleasurable break from your usual Pinoy indie films of urban poverty, and here we finally see the beautiful parts of the country for a change.” (Read full review)

3.5          Forg Files

Thelma boasts of amazing technical achievement. It has the most beautiful cinematography of any local movie that I’ve watched this year… However, the screenplay is a little confused as it attempted to touch a lot of stories but without developing it properly.” (Read full review)

3.0        Nel Costales (Sine Patrol)

“Paul Soriano’s growing-up story is well-structured and beautiful just like the scenic Patapat viaduct in Ilocos Norte… However, Soriano’s mostly-focused direction was marred by a false start and a few bumpy scenes.” (Read full review)

2.5        Cathy Peña (Make Me Blush)

“It’s a curiosity that in its effort to avoid being schmaltzy, it also fails to capture a sense of urgency where its ‘action’ scenes were concerned.” (Read full review)

2.5        Andrew dela Serna (Cinegang)

Thelma is a well-meaning movie based on ‘true stories’, yet it forgets that an ending with some semblance of closure might equate to a good film.” (Read full review)

2.0       Tessa Maria Guazon (YCC Film Desk)

Thelma sags from the burden of its self-conscious depiction of inspiration and hope. It seeks to portray the triumph of will but fails to coherently explore the depth of the human struggle to conquer fear and faltering commitment.” (Read full review)

2.0        Philbert Dy (Click the City)

Thelma looks good and is pretty well acted, but it gets its priorities all wrong. The film layers on extraneous drama and neglects the joys of athletic pursuit.” (Read full review)


4.0        Adrian Mendizabal (Cinephiles)

“Quite surprising! I thought it would be bad, but this is good stuff! The shots are beautifully composed, especially the windmills scene. The coloring is great! I love the shades of yellow and brown on some scenes. It’s a visual treat and should be enjoyed in that sense. The editing is a bit conventional but flawless, great match up with the images to provide continuity. Transitional elements is a plus. Malinis ang pelikula technically. The story is pretty conventional though. But fantastic views and panoramic shots! Night scenes are also highly composed. CATCH IT!”

3.0        Arsenio Tan Liao (Cinephiles)

“Could have been better if the director focused on the occupational conflicts of the runner. Even the marathon scenes could be better executed if spiced with suspense since the filmmaker said this was inspired by true events. Malinis ang cinematography pero storywise, something needs to be improved. Nakapagtatakang si Thelma running or training on barefoot ay hindi man lang nagka-kalyo. Nagpaka-complacent ang pelikula sa paghi-highlight ng family drama instead on the dilemma of an athlete na mas safe na gawin. Acting wise magaling sina Maja, Techie Agbayani, John Arcilla at ang suki ng indie at second director nitong si Sue Prado.”

2.0        Json Javier (Cinephiles)

“It felt like an extended MMK episode with good production values.”

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