Verdict: Value for Money

Pinoy Rebyu Score: 3.81 (8 ratings)

Genre: Drama

Director: Adolfo Alix, Jr.

Writer: Jerome Zamora

Cast: Jacky Woo, Rosanna Roces, Nina Kodaka, Roxanne Barcelo, Perla Bautista, Junjun Quintana, Arnold Reyes, Evelyn Vargas-Knaevel

Synopsis: A morbid turn of events brings Haruo (Jacky Woo) to the squalor of Manila. A prized asset of the feared Yakuza in Tokyo, Haruo, aka Tadano Hayashi, escapes the criminal syndicate with bountiful cash, a helpless Filipina bar girl (Nina Kodaka) – and tragic consequences. Now solitary, he has uprooted himself to the railside slums of the metropolis, wistfully fending for himself. Still hiding from his past, he rents out a small room, seemingly lost in the clutter of wandering souls desperate for survival. There, he spends his days anonymously roaming the congested streets selling food, and even giving them away for the hungry. But he mostly keeps to himself, even to the inquisitive Edna (Rosanna Roces), an aging bar girl with whom he occasionally shares his bed. (From Cathy Peña’s review)

Trailer: 

Reviews:

5.0         JPaul Manzanilla (Young Critics Circle)

“The film’s excellent cinematography captures our character’s movement away from the world of crime only to be pulled back into it. There is a scene where the old railways of Manila are shown as Haruo is traveling to another side of the city. This moment of pure movement, when nothing yet is definitive concerning Haruo’s (literal and lifelong) direction, deftly mesmerizes one’s vision.” (Read full review)

4.5         Ian Urrutia (Pinoy Cinema Tumblr)

Haruo is a spectacle of visual merit, a slam-bang of a stylish noir that pays homage to South Korean revenge thrillers championed by the likes of Park Chan-Wook and Ji-woon Kim. Adolf Alix Jr. avoids tackling aesthetic violence and visceral torture porn here though, and dealt instead on framing a lyrically poignant narrative.” (Read full review)

4.0         Cathy Peña (Make Me Blush)

“With a bristling narrative and the calculated manipulations of its color palette, smartly doing away with those shaky handhelds, Adolf Alix, Jr.’s Haruo (Springtime Man) plays out like a blank canvas that gradually unravels right before your eyes, peeling veneers of its story in delectable stages of unrelenting tale, way until the full story is laid out like a masterpiece.” (Read full review)

4.0         Rito Asilo (Philippine Daily Inquirer)

“There are loose ends that need tying up, but Albert Banzon’s crisp photography and Alix’s oddly relatable characters bring the film’s cautionary tale to pulsating life.” (Read full review)

4.0         Macky Macarayan (Death of Traditional Cinema)

“Despite its flaws, Haruo as a whole feels like a genre film, clearly inspired and passionate.” (Read full review)

2.5          Carl Joseph Papa (Whatever Carl)

“The movie has Alix written all over it, most especially in the silent moments and in the beginning.  But things got a little off as it progressed along.” (Read full review)

Comments:

3.5         Manuel Pangaruy (Taga-ilog Special)

“Almost a 4 or 4.5 kung hindi r’un sa (spoiler alert) presence ng isang character sa dulo. I think pwede nang wala ‘yun, gan’un pa rin ang dating. Ganda ng work dito ni Albert Banzon at may mga panning si Adolf dito. Pwedeng pwede nang action film director.🙂 Na-remind ako nang konti ng History of Violence at, ewan pa kung bakit, ni Jim Jarmusch.”

3.0         Arsenio Tan Liao (Cinephiles)

“Since this is produced by Jackie Woo who happens to be the lead star in the movie , I understand that he has to be given the moments in this Adolfo Alix’s movie. Good cinematography and effective acting from some cast though.”