Rising from a pool of clichés, ground-breaking movies have ascended to shift the quality and identity of our films. Indie movies hailing from independent productions and film festivals catalyze a newer and richer taste for Filipinos—just look how Ice Idanan’s sweet and fetching Sakaling Hindi Makarating took us on a road of rediscovery and Samantha Lee’s aesthetic Baka Bukas brought light to the lesbian community. Now, Petersen Vargas, in his magnificent yet eerie manifestation of innocence and youth, showcases a peculiar craft. 2 Cool 2 Be 4gotten is currently being screened in select cinemas and delving its viewers in their own void.
It’s all typical yet raw as Felix (Khalil Ramos) being the usual introvert, high-achiever lurking friendless on the school grounds, exists all alone with his cognitive complex and highfalutin vocabulary—until the Snyder brothers, Magnus (Ethan Salvador) and Maxim (Jameson Blake), introduce him to a new and life-changing teenage phase. Set in 1990, post-Pinatubo-eruption era in Angeles, Pampanga, 2 Cool 2 Be 4gotten is the film of our age, underlining the most vulnerable and unforgettable point in our youth—may it be intersecting, parallel, or completely tangent to someone else’s life.
The blending of characterization among characters permits the film to execute the casts’ own individual narrative. Khalil manifests the identity crisis Felix faces in the course of the story, and submerges himself in the emotions the character demands. Jameson, who won the Best Supporting Actor in Cinema One Originals Festival, endearingly surprises us with his well-acted performance, ditching his charming and delightful aura and embodying a much sexier, more mature, and wicked role. Of course, newbie Ethan Salvador, who plays Magnus Snyder, exerts a fresh look with the greatest effort of portraying Magnus’ desire for a greater change and a better life. You see, when three brilliant and charming actors successfully blend in a film, expect it to be a provocative yet sweet form of art.
2 Cool 2 Be 4gotten bagged the Best Picture in the recent Cinema One Originals Festival, and its success reflects the talent and passion of our emerging independent filmmakers to normalize high-quality storylines. Filmed in a 4:3 aspect ratio which adds to its nostalgic 90s vibes, this coming-of-age LGBT-themed story about friendship and unforgettable firsts breaks through our void and illuminates the uncertainties we have within. This unprecedented film fills the gap of our unknown selves, broadens the adversities of finding ourselves, and delves into our interdependence on each other’s existence.
A far cry from what the trailer established, Vargas’ surreal masterpiece encompasses the other side of the spectrum, another paradigm of the paradoxical youth, a new weave of a wave, and the unusual never-before-felt sensation of emptiness and bliss—all in one sitting.
A film not only worth watching, but also worth remembering.