Avid Liongoren’s Saving Sally is a very typical love story illustrated in a world where artistic creativity sweats in every corner – taking you to ventures which showcase its advocacy for uniqueness that draws inspiration from a deep-rooted eagerness to set it apart from the generics. Selling the art of animation and its merging with live-action is a great product of passion that it endorses, and it does absolutely everything to win our graces even if it could alienate some with the numerous nods that aims to make geeks giggle from the frenzies of enthusiasm that it unleashes as demonstrated by the usage of the English language instead of sticking to our native tongue.
From “monsters” roaming in the city to comic-books to rocketships to subtle references in pop culture to the characters’ personas, you can tell that this film is specifically one designed for the geeks – animating the dangers and joys of falling in love in a panel that mirrors their reality, or at least how we view them when it comes to handling matters such as those with the application of sensitivity to drive this thematic material to levels of earnestness; deeming its efforts as spectacularly viable – paying off a hefty load that makes your jaws drop with every moment that is given authenticity as the two characters’ emotions, specifically the lead’s, mesh incredibly against an imaginatively quirky backdrop that defines the dimensions and builds layers around Avid’s human creations.
This is the manner in which we get to sense the very places where the film pulls all of these feelings from; the answer of which could possibly be the filmmakers’ own experiences and life conflicts as it is made to look so clear in almost all of the situations that appear, escalating a certain amount of empathy whenever insecurity or lack of confidence is talked about, and it is great to see the film deal with that and not only its central themes of heartbreaks – embracing openness to other pains which extends its status from being a breathtaking 10-year-in-the-making project of passion to a superb outlet of expression; reeling in geeks and non-geeks alike to live and walk into a breathing tale that soars sensationally.
Somehow, someway, though, even with all the work thrust into its veins, the wonder, while bursting in eye-captivating hues tends to bare an emptiness that leads everything to a faltering state which couldn’t even be aided by anything in its inventory. It doesn’t harm all the fun that it’s having, but rather makes it look all shallow, or so to speak – giving us the impression that the film is still busy playing rather than really working to give us the goods without tampering it; only giving birth to a dangling fault that could even protrude further than it actually does.
Thankfully, what helps brighten this grey area though, lies in its own consciousness – an awareness that admits to its capabilities, so much so that it just constantly zones out without giving a single care in the world, delivering to us an understanding which relates to everything that its filmmakers have established with hard-work, affection and self-perseverance — all to present an adorable result of one geek’s determination. Saving Sally isn’t actually built with a lot of shiny, polished bearings, but it functions well enough to serve what it should – saving itself from the stuttering of its own idiosyncrasies.
- Saving Sally is an official entry to the 2016 Metro Manila Film Festival.