Ang Nawawala has the pulse and sheen of a foreign movie. Of all the films in Cinemalaya, director Marie Jamora's coming of age rockathon is the most technically accomplished. Finally, a movie without shrieking roosters and earsplitting tricycles blaring in the background has arrived.
Jamora is a savvy filmmaker and she plays to her strengths. Years of directing short films and music videos (40 as of last count) paid off. Ang Nawawala is solid, cohesive and glossy. Elements perfectly complement each other—editing, production design and music are all faultless.
Beyond its technical merits, Ang Nawawala offers nothing new that we haven't seen before. It doesn't have the emotional resonance of Vincent Sandoval's Aparisyon nor the scope of Loy Arcenas' Requieme!. What it does have is an irrevocable coolness factor which many viewers will find appealing—irresistible even. It may not win best picture (leave that to the big shots), but it will definitely win in the box office, which in the end, is just as important as the latter.