The main reason why I watched Intoy Syokoy was because of JM De Guzman, and after watching it, I realized that I had a pretty good reason. Despite all the snot and grime, JM consistently proves to be cute in every scene, despite his seemingly haggard appearance. Yes, I've been told a couple of times that I'm pretty shallow.
I have nothing much to say about Intoy Syokoy, because there wasn't anything new. Somehow, it felt as if it's a movie we've seen countless of times already.
Based on Eros Atalia's character, Intoy Syokoy ng Kalye Marino is a story of a teenage boy who tries to get by life one mussel at a time. After Intoy's father died due to an accident (or a broken heart, whichever), his mother abandons him. He has no one left besides his friends. He manages to survive each day with the hope of getting out of Kalye Marino, hopefully with Doray, the love of his life.
Besides this plotline, pretty much everything else is reminiscent of 50% of Filipino indie films. It's about poverty, that's pretty much a given. It's about the vicious cycle of going back to zero just when you start to think that you could finally get out of the hellhole. I was waiting for something else, something new. A ray of sunshine to bring some good to the lives of these teens from Kalye Marino.
Tedious is something that comes to mind when I try to think of an adjective to describe this movie. It's long. But I somehow felt as if it didn't go anywhere. We see a resolution to Intoy's love for Doray, who ends up becoming a prostitute when she couldn't find a job anywhere else. But other than that, it's a sad tale for the people who lives in Kalye Marino.
There are some things that I don't understand such as how Doray has AIDS. I'm not that familiar with the disease but I don't think it takes effect that fast. One of Intoy's friend's father is a seaman who died, beheaded by pirates. I don't understand how his head kept in a too simple container reached his home. I wonder if the government sent that container but I somehow think it should be presented in a better manner.
Maybe I expected too much. How dare I expect rainbows and butterflies when white tide phenomena and sexually transmitted disease are normal occurrence in Kalye Marino. But it was a tiring movie experience.
But with all these said, I still think it was worth my time and money. I don't regret watching the movie, and not just JM, too. I think Intoy's character arc is developed well enough. We see him grow as a person. We see him move on from every misfortune that enters his life. But for a viewer, it's all too much to handle.
I only have praises for the cast. I even think LJ Reyes is quite good in this moive. But it was Joross Gamboa who definitely steals the spotlight. He won Best Supporting Actor in the New Breed category for a reason. He seems to have a knack for playing supporting roles that will leave an impression on the viewers' minds. His character is not just a comic relief in this movie, too. It's nice to see him grow from the Joross Gamboa of Star Circle Quest to a respected actor who knows his craft.
I say, give this movie a try. It's not as bad as I make it out to be. But make sure to have your heart prepared from all the possible breaking it has to go through just by seeing JM crushed. I dare you not to want to leap forward and give the poor boy a hug. Intoy definitely needs one (or a hundred).