Style Living Self Celebrity Geeky News and Views
In the Paper BrandedUp Hello! Create with us Privacy Policy

REVIEW: ‘Rewind’ is a moving pause with God

By BṺM TENORIO JR., The Philippine STAR Published Jan 05, 2024 5:00 am

The proverbial direct line between man and God is apparent in Rewind, a family drama that’s one of the top-grossing MMFF films now. People line up to see the movie of real-life couple Dingdong Dantes and Marian Rivera. Many come out of the theater unapologetically wiping away their tears. (In Alabang Town Center where I watched Rewind, a lady was bawling in her seat, unmindful of the crowd in the filled-to-the-rafters theater. On TikTok, since the film festival opened on Dec. 25, content creators have uploaded videos of celebrities and common folk unabashedly shedding tears while or after watching Rewind.)

What’s with this tearjerker?

Rewind is a pause. It examines the moral fiber of man. And in this very fiber is love, sacrifice, dedication, communication, and submission. It interrogates the nature of man to be callous and complacent and seemingly answers why it is important to show love and compassion while time still counts, and the moment still matters.

The almost two-hour film focuses on the lives of couple John and Mary, portrayed effortlessly by Dong and Marian, respectively. The wife is dutiful and content; the husband, after years of marriage, has grown self-centered and ambitious. They have a very young son who prays to “Lods,” his term for the Lord, the desires of his heart—that includes a plea to God that his busy, distant father will be able to watch the school play he wrote and directed. So close is the son to Lods that he keeps a smiling portrait of Him by his bed.

Rewind is the full stop of the heart that finds it hard to forgive—and later on realizes, albeit late, that forgiveness is not an option but the only choice in order to move on. The film is the simple dissertation that regret festers in the soul. The antidote to regret as explored in Rewind is to value every moment with the loved ones, to cherish it with gusto, to live every moment, to love every second. And a moment well spent with the family is in itself a legacy. 

Marian Rivera and Dingdong Dantes are Mary and John in the film Rewind, a family d

The narrative of the film is simple. It is this simplicity that commands the sincerity of the film. Like all things sincere, this family drama tugs at the heart.

Unlike other family dramas that tend to hold hostage viewers’ emotions, Rewind does not manipulate sensitivities. Lines are real, they are happy and sad dialogues that could be spoken by anybody in your neighborhood. So real are the performances of Dong and Marian that John and Mary become familiar to the audience.

Though Dong and Marian were given one too many beautiful close-up shots that at times are bothersome, they nevertheless showed their acting chops. Marian’s Mary is pure and immaculate, her character flaw is her unblinking submission, her inability to articulate her pains. Marian explodes in her silent scenes. Her emotions are heightened by the intelligence with which she tackled the role—her quiet suffering visible on her ultra-beautiful face.

Dong proves that he is one of those who lords it over others in the acting derby. Even the gnashing of his teeth does not warrant any follow-up speaking lines to know that he did very well in Rewind. His performance in the film shows why he is a bankable actor, at the top of his league, a star. Maturity becomes him. (He has another film in this season’s MMFF titled Firefly. That, I also want to see.)

It helps that Coney Reyes is part of the movie as the supportive mother of Marian. Short but sweet was her appearance in the film but her presence added light and weight to the movie. I must admit that the reconciliation scene between John and his father, essayed with clear empathy by Lito Pimentel, made my eyes moist. Family matters. Family is everything. Family makes one’s spirit whole and firm even if the world outside is shattered.

When tragedy strikes the couple, John becomes the recipient of an extraordinary indulgence from Lods.

Lods, a casual representation of the Supreme Being, is played with effortless wit and humor by Pepe Herrera. His is a representation of God who is light, amusing and comic but sticks to the rules and boundaries He has set. And the mortal in John needs to obey.

That God can also be human—approachable and amenable to negotiations—is well explored in the film. (Methinks the lighting of the film is in its optimum in every scene with Lods, especially when a seeming shattered halo of light is seen above Lods’ head every time He has a scene.)

Lods is a friend to John and the borders He set are the enemies. But enemies become friends, too, later on. Borders have their own morality. 

Rewind, if taken from the vantage point of faith, is a well-meaning sermon. What makes God truly God is His capacity to reward people, even the most damaged and imperfect, with a second chance. The recompense may be limited or may come with restrictions but it’s still recompense. It is grace.

And it is grace that John and Mary receive in Rewind.