RAKENROL (film) Ended the Global Financial Crisis, Stopped Global Warming, Saved the Music Industry From Itself & Made Me Cry

rakenrol poster 1

I don’t think Rakenrol is that good, but instead I think it’s one of those things that’s better than good. You know, like fishballs from the street and not from those franchised booths at the mall. It’s probably bad, but don’t listen to those who tell you it is. What’s more important is how you love it, how you believe it moves you, how it’s your personal lord and savior. I had a religious experience in the theater. I became fully convinced that this movie was made for me.

I was always envious how American kids had films like Almost Famous, Detroit Rock City, or even Rockstar, School of Rock and Scott Pilgrim. They had films that a kid who loves music can get into, be inspired by, emulate. They had films that showed love for rock & roll. I envied Japan who had films like Beck: MCS (even if it sucked), Detroit Metal City (LOL), Nana, and Solanin. Even if some of these films pissed on their source material, there was some kid with a guitar who would eat all this up. I was that kid, and I never had my rock film.

I saw Rakenrol maybe 20 years too late; but I do think seeing it at 34 is perhaps better than at 24. Why?

Here’s how I imagine myself responding to this film at different ages:


At 24: Pfffft. Such a simplistic fairy-tale with a bittersweet tinge shoehorned in for some cred. Might as well let Ely Buendia give a voice-over for the ending. Such hipster BS.


Hyperbole, but truthful. Rakenrol I think, is the same. Simplistic in parts, exaggerated in parts, but rings true for someone like me who dreamt of rock n’ roll, making music, making someone fall in love with you with your songwriting throughout my adolescence. My tastes in music changed over time, but indeed there was a time that I brought a guitar to school every day; that I had a garage band, had a recording at a studio, went to gigs, and identified myself as a ‘rocker.’

rakenrol poster 2

The film had the signature moments I believe that are part of Filipino adolescence: that conversation you have with your friends figuring out the different Tagalog words for different kinds of body hair and what gets caught on them; being friendzoned and given “that talk” and all its cringe-worthy phrasing; becoming all anti-establishment; getting told by your girlfriend she’s pregnant; being into screaming vocals; being emo (though we had different terms for it back then). I love it that it’s this film that put these things out, that a rock n’ roll film did it. I can’t explain it further than if you were into rock n’ roll as a punk kid, you’d get it.


And if you do, it’s so rewarding.

Kids, you don’t know how lucky you are; watch this film. Jaded post-adolescents, get over yourselves: this film is you and you fap to this. And for us who have two fingers left clinging onto the ledge of youth, this film is for us too. We get to rock a little bit, remember our silly selves, remember love.

Gusto ko rin sabihin na ang karaniwang mambabasa ng blog na ito ay mga dayuhan, pero muntik ko nang kaligtaan na ang pinaka-angkop na pagpuri na aking mabibigay sa pelikulang ito ay tawagin itong ASTIG. Pwera-(hyper)bola, tawa ako ng tawa, sabay pahikbi-hikbi din.

About ghostlightning

I entered the anime blogging sphere as a lurker around Spring 2008. We Remember Love is my first anime blog. Click here if this is your first time to visit WRL.
This entry was posted in only in the Philippines and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

14 Responses to RAKENROL (film) Ended the Global Financial Crisis, Stopped Global Warming, Saved the Music Industry From Itself & Made Me Cry

  1. sadakups says:

    I seriously thought I was on the wrong site when I saw this article.

  2. ~xxx says:

    When I was in my high school, I always loved rock.
    And back then I really liked to form a band, but one thing certain for me… I can sing but can’t compose.

    Man, the trailer was something.
    even though I haven’t watched the film yet, I felt that younger generation should watch this rather some big-budgeted movies over the Hollywood scene. (But I don’t say that those Hollywood films are not good.)

    And finally, I think that Filipinos (including I) should support their own film not only the MMFF(Metro Manila Film Festival) but also our good indie(independent movies) movie which reflects the society we live in (for example, the movie Thelma which they say was very good.)

    Sa Tingin ko ay Astig siya (kailangan ko pa siyang panoorin[DVD copy please?] pero higit sa lahat, ito siguro ang mag-mumulat sa mga kabataan na suportahan natin ang sarili nating musika at maging Pilipino sa isip at gawa. (kasi nawawalan na tayo ng pagkakakilanlan sa mundo.)

    [masyadong EPIC ang comment post ko ]

    • You’re going to have a grand time with this film. Bring your friends.

      Sige lang supporta lang ng supporta.
      Nood lang ng nood.
      Art lang ng art.
      Comment lang ng comment.
      Epic tayong lahat.

  3. i can certainly relate to you! i think i’m gonna watch this ^^
    i looove those Japanese films you’ve mentioned by the way. 😉
    a friend of mine told me to watch Solanin because he said I could certainly relate to it ^^
    can’t wait to see that film as well..

  4. animekritik says:

    Wait..eskimos have tons of words for snow because they live in the north. aren’t filipinos relatively hairless? why so many words for body hair??

    • Mind you these words aren’t common knowledge, and are quasi-taboo or ‘dirty’ words. I think taboo is the most fertile ground for wordsmithing, and this is just a natural consequence.

  5. I’ll check this out sometimes next week. Sounds like my college days, back when i was listening to NU 107 with regularity, and almost everyone wanted to form a rock band.

  6. dliessmgg says:

    Tagalog has different words for different kinds of body hair? Please elaborate. 😀

    • Tutsang – nose hair that catches kulangot – booger
      Burnik – butt hair
      Weneklek – nipple hair; related to kukurikapu – lint under the boobs
      Hapipak/apipak – hair on the big toe

  7. three years later, after all that’s been said and read, this is still my favorite thing that’s been written about the movie. thank you for getting it, and for making Diego and I feel that it was worth making 🙂

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s