Third World Romance is a Filipino drama film that premiered on Netflix on November 16, 2023. The film stars Carlo Aquino and Charlie Dizon as Alvin and Britney, two workers who meet at a bus stop on a rainy day and end up in a relationship that is far from perfect. The film depicts the challenges they face as they try to make ends meet, deal with their abusive boss, and cope with their personal issues.
The film is directed by Joel Ruiz and produced by Black Sheep, a sub-brand of ABS-CBN Films that focuses on alternative and experimental cinema. The film is part of the Netflix Originals lineup, which showcases diverse and original stories from different countries and cultures.
Third World Romance is a film that offers a realistic and nuanced portrayal of love and life in the Philippines, a country that is often stereotyped as a tropical paradise or a poverty-stricken nation. The film shows the harsh realities of the lower middle-class workers, who are often exploited, marginalized, and neglected by society. The film also shows the beauty and resilience of the Filipino people, who find joy and hope amid adversity.
The film follows the story of Alvin and Britney, who work as janitors at a mall. Alvin is a quiet and reserved man who lives with his grandmother and dreams of becoming a photographer. Britney is a bubbly and optimistic woman who lives with her sister and nephew and dreams of traveling the world. They meet at a bus stop when Alvin lends Britney his umbrella. They soon develop a friendship and eventually a romance.
However, their relationship is not a fairy tale. They face many obstacles and conflicts, such as their low income, their abusive boss, their family problems, and their insecurities. They also have different personalities and goals, which sometimes clash and cause misunderstandings. They have to deal with the harsh reality of their situation, which often tests their love and commitment.
The film is a bittersweet tale of love and survival, that shows the highs and lows of being in a relationship in a third-world country. The film does not sugarcoat or romanticize the struggles of the lower middle-class workers but rather exposes them in a raw and honest way. The film also does not offer a happy or tragic ending, but rather a realistic and hopeful one.
The film is a well-crafted and well-acted piece of cinema, that showcases the talents of the director and the actors. The film has a simple but engaging plot, that keeps the viewers invested in the characters and their journey. Love emerges as a beacon of hope in Third World Romance, a transformative force that empowers the characters to overcome their challenges and persevere in the face of adversity. Britney and Alvin's relationship provides them with a sense of belonging, purpose, and the strength to confront their obstacles.
Their love story serves as a testament to the enduring power of human connection, demonstrating that love can thrive even in the most challenging of circumstances. It is a love that transcends socioeconomic barriers, offering a glimmer of hope amidst the hardships they face.
Though the runtime of the film tells a different tale I felt like the film has a slow and dragging pace, that sometimes provoked my sleep-deprived body to fall asleep. While Third World Romance successfully captures the essence of life in a developing nation, it occasionally falls into melodrama, with certain plot points and character interactions feeling somewhat contrived. A more restrained approach to these elements would have allowed for a more grounded and emotionally authentic experience.
As the final credits rolled, I was left with a profound sense of admiration for the characters' resilience and unwavering hope. Third World Romance is a testament to the transformative power of love and the indomitable spirit of the human spirit, reminding us that even in the darkest of times, love can illuminate the path toward a brighter future.
Final Score – [7.5/10]
Reviewed by - Arpita Mondal
Publisher at Midgard Times
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