This review contains spoilers.
You’ve probably read at least one Alone/Together review by now. Or maybe your Twitter feed has been flooded by tweets from moviegoers who had something to say about the movie. We’re probably weeks late with this, but we had so much to unpack with this movie. I mean… Liza Soberano’s freaking pimple. Enrique Gil’s overly tan (and borderline orange) skin. New York. And let’s not forget Jasmine Curtis in another Pathy with an H-esque role. But here it is, another Alone/Together review, which came about after some much-heated discussions with my workmates, and the occasional reminiscing of my UP days.
It takes a good storyteller to portray authentic emotions through written characters. It takes a great storyteller to incite the same feelings and emotions in their audience. Antoinette Jadaone is a great storyteller. She has always been one to write her characters as people journeying through life, and more often than not, the journey is a literal trip somewhere. In That Thing Called Tadhana, Mace starts off as a heartbroken and lost girl who goes on a spontaneous trip with a stranger to Baguio, where she slowly learns to heal her heart. In Never Not Love You, Joanne, who once centered her life on her work, falls in love and decides to uproot her life in the Manila to live in London with her boyfriend.
In Alone/Together, the journey is that of growing up. Of crossing the line from being a wide-eyed, idealist college girl, to an adult who has come face-to-face with failure — one who has learned the art of compromise, and one who has learned that the pursuit of dreams should not stop at one failed attempt.
It’s in the first few minutes of Alone/Together that I get hooked on Liza’s character Tin. Tin tells the origin story of Juan Luna’s Spoliarium while touring a bunch of kids in the National Museum. She relates the painting to the Eraserheads song, but not without pointing out the difference in the spelling. The song, she says, is spelled as Spolarium. A stranger, Raf (Enrique Gil), points out her mistake, and she’s quick to defend her facts. She’s so sure of herself. “A true blue iska,” I think to myself.
The movie proceeds and it’s the perfect depiction of the UP experience. Tin wears simple clothes and slippers to school. She eats isaw and kwek-kwek. She talks big on her plans of changing the world. Heck, even her nonchalant use of “tangina” perfectly captures UP culture.