By MARIA ANTOINETTE A. MALICSE
THE PRESENT moment is actually comprised of different—though perhaps not equally—sorts of variables that determine it, some of which each individual are ultimately responsible for, while others beyond his/her control. In the Cinema One Originals entry “Throwback Today,” director Joseph Teoxon makes use of time travel as instrument to edify the timeless virtue of becoming conscious of the consequences of one’s decisions, that no matter how irrelevant it may seem, every crossroad one will encounter in his/her life is still a crossroad.
Through its protagonist Primo Jose Lacson (Carlo Aquino), the viewers are reminded that a single turn taken or missed can ultimately affect how long before someone reaches his/her destination if he/she will even make it there at all, that a lone drop in a bucket could cause a ripple unimaginable.
On the other hand, by adding a character like Macy (Annicka Dolonius) in relation to Primo into the mix, the film also teaches that while people’s actions are their own and that they play a significant role in shaping who a person is and what he/she will become, they are not the sole factors of the equation which makes an individual. In one way or another, all things that exist are linked to one another. The decision of one can limit or expand the choices of another.
Conceptually, the film is interesting. With the aid of science fiction, it embeds in the minds of its viewers through tickling the imagination life lessons supposedly already obvious, but perhaps sometimes too obvious that it is quite easy to overlook. Visually it is clean, which allows the viewers to focus on the feelings the characters are trying to convey. It does not rely on excessive, superfluous, computer-generated imagery effects neither to establish its being science fiction nor to indicate the shifting of timeline. Instead, it utilizes its actors’ skill set and exercises incredible particularity, and consistently in little details—the shelves in Primo’s rooms and their content, the hair color of the characters, their makeup, clothes, and the length of hair—to build the atmosphere that much time has elapsed or regressed.
While told in a nonlinear narrative, the story is easy to follow. The transitioning from one scene to another is almost rhythmic that following through the sequence might as well feel as natural as bobbing one’s head or tapping one’s feet while listening to music. The cuts are well-put, they might as well be enjambments of a poem.
Though one could complain that its explanation as to how the time travel has become possible is oversimplified, but overall the film has conveyed well the idea that in life, there is in fact no right or wrong choice; there are only effects which you will either fancy or find distasteful. F