Review: ‘Edward’ is a humorous and tender coming-of-age story 2
Edward is helmed by Kiko Boksingero director Thop Nazareno.

Review: ‘Edward’ is a humorous and tender coming-of-age story

What this Cinemalaya favorite  has that its neighboring entries do not is an unwavering belief in moments of grace.
Andrew Paredes | Oct 03 2019

Directed by Thop Nazareno

Starring Louise Abuel, Ella Cruz, Dido dela Paz

If you sampled a certain cross-section of the Cinemalaya entries this year, you might have been tempted to slit your wrists: IskaFuccbois, and eventual top winner John Denver Trending were films that wallowed in the hopelessness of their characters’ plights so effectively that they trod that delicate line between portraying reality and reinforcing it. (Not to worry: For those who feel that stories about the poor and disenfranchised aren’t their cup of tea, there was also a subsection dealing with the middle-class angst of the Filipina cougar and their often-nude lovers, comprised of Belle Douleur and Malamaya.)

Review: ‘Edward’ is a humorous and tender coming-of-age story 3
Louise Abuel plays the titular character who takes care of his ailing father played by Dido dela Paz.

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And then there was Edward. Coming off the affectionately received Kiko Boksingero, director Thop Nazareno’s latest effort follows the eponymously named character, a boy (Louise Abuel) turning an overtaxed and overflowing urban hospital into his playground as he cares for his tuberculosis-raddled father (Dido dela Paz), a ne’er-do-well who sired him and his preoccupied elder brother from two different women. One day, an unconscious Jane Doe (Cinemalaya best supporting actress winner Ella Cruz) gets admitted into the hospital, and Edward finds his world thrillingly, irrevocably turned upside down.

Review: ‘Edward’ is a humorous and tender coming-of-age story 4
Edward is a tender coming-of-age story set in an overtaxed and overflowing urban hospital.

Edward has the grimy details of its milieu down pat: the caretakers sleeping under the beds of their patients; the black market for attractive, unclaimed corpses operating out of the morgue; the hospital staff using the loitering caregivers as errand boys for smuggled alcohol. But more than a disquisition on an overburdened health care system, Edward is an often humorous, achingly tender coming-of-age story that is perceptive enough to see that a heart never opens halfway: As Edward learns to love his Jane Doe deeply and unconditionally, so does his love for his errant father grow and evolve.

Ultimately, the hard-earned wisdom Edward wins is a Pyrrhic victory: As the final shot attests, his is just one story in a larger, disheartening system. But what Edward has that its neighboring entries do not is an unwavering belief in moments of grace: the sliver of light in darkness, the unexpected gift of kindness in the midst of catastrophe. This steadfast focus on goodness is the largesse that Edward bestows upon us.

Edward is currently screening in Glorietta 4, Gateway Mall, and other select theaters nationwide. For more information, visit its Facebook page.