Cha ChaVerdict: Essential Viewing

Pinoy Rebyu Score: 4.44 (8 ratings)

Genre: Drama

Writer/Director: Sigrid Andrea Bernardo

Cast: Teri Malvar, Angel Aquino, Jay Bordon, Marcus Madrigal, Lui Manansala, Solomon de Guzman, Lenlen Frial

Synopsis: A 12-year old Anita falls in love with the new woman in town; years later, a girlhood crush blossoms during the Fiesta of Santa Clara in Obando, Bulacan.

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Trailer: 

Reviews:

5.0         Macky Macarayan (Death of Traditional Cinema)

“Equally rendering elements of humor and drama, the film achieves the end of making us feel what Anita goes through, and it further helps that young actress Teri Malvar portrays Anita with the fragile quality of a young girl but with the intelligence of a grown up woman that you feel compelled to root for her happiness.” (Read full review)

5.0         Philbert Dy (Click the City)

“The film has the temerity to trudge through some really uncomfortable material, laying out hard truths through a breathless story about women and the things that happen to women.” (Read full review)

5.0         Marra PL. Lanot (Philippine Star)

“The superb cinematography of Alma dela Peña does not divert attention away from the narrative. The director handles all aspects with control, including acting. The actors are natural and never camera-conscious. The message is shown, not dogmatically wrapped in sermon or sloganeering.” (Read full review)

4.5         Randy Renier Espinoza (Iconoclast)

“The enlightenment, though, seems premature, and the girl’s rather too-early disposition towards romantic aspirations may come across as contrived just to lend to the story a certain measure of sensationalism. The film triumphs, still, by espousing rebellion as a tool for emancipation.” (Read full review)

4.5         Renelson Morelos (Reel Thoughts)

“One cannot fault the director’s earnestness, tenderness and rawness in illustrating a young lesbian love, vivified in all its pristine and innocent qualities by newcomer Teri Malvar in the title role. At her age, she was actually brave enough to take on the tricky role. ” (Read full review)

4.0         Libay Cantor (Leaflens Takilya)

“(The) treatment of queerness is what’s formidable in this material. I like the way that the film treats being a lesbian here, that’s it’s a non-issue — which is how it should be treated in real life anyway.” (Read full review)

4.0         Oggs Cruz (Spot.ph)

“When Ang Huling Cha-Cha ni Anita closes not with tears or regrets but with a joyous celebration, it manifests an optimism that is very rare in cinema that dabbles in more serious concerns. Love, whether it ends tragically or triumphantly, is a good enough reason to forget the world’s problems and dance.” (Read full review)

3.5         Derek Elley (Film Business Asia)

Anita loses some of its verve in the second half and has a weak semi-fantasy ending but generally goes the distance thanks to its busy array of characters, including the village chorus of Anita’s mother (Lui Manansala, good) and her gossiping female friends. At the very least, Anita makes one curious where Bernardo will land next.” (Read full review)