Fan Girl (2020)

Fan Girl (2020)

PG-13

netflix

A sensational lead performance leads a conflicted but gripping story of toxic relationships

7.5

Movie

Philippines, United States of America
Tagalog
Drama, Thriller
2020
ANTOINETTE JADAONE, FEMALE DIRECTOR
Bea Alonzo, Camille Penaverde, Charlie Dizon
100 min

TLDR

Performances so good that heartthrob Paulo Avelino has become typecast as a greasy creep forever.

What it's about

Innocent high schooler Jane secretly follows actor Paulo Avelino to a decrepit house, where she learns that her idol is nowhere near as gentlemanly as he portrays himself.

The take

In the years since Fan Girl's original release in the Philippines, its ultimate message and execution has become polarizing: is it enough that the film shows the corruption of a parasocial relationship into an abusive one, without offering much hope? Is its vision of justice actually constructive or disappointingly limited? No matter where you fall, it's exciting that a movie can stir up these kinds of questions through a bizarre dynamic between characters, in a place that's clearly set somewhere between reality and delusion. The narrative is circular and frustrating for a reason—a constant push and pull as the titular fan girl keeps getting drawn back into the celebrity's orbit—and the film only grows more disturbing with each repetition.

What stands out

The Philippines has no shortage of talented actors under 30, but Charlie Dizon stands tall as arguably the best of her generation. Every acting choice she makes feels effortless, and she displays none of the vanity or artificially inflated or over-articulated emotion that other performers might embrace to get a more immediate reaction. It truly never feels like she's acting, and in Fan Girl—her breakout performance—her journey from wide-eyed schoolgirl to bitter soul who can stare daggers through anybody feels entirely earned. With films like this and the more recently released Third World Romance under her belt, Dizon seems to be paving the way for an entirely new calibre of acting in mainstream Filipino films.

Comments

Add a comment

UP NEXT 

UP NEXT 

UP NEXT 

Whether the Weather Is Fine (2021)

An absurdist odyssey through the aftermath of disaster and a singular sensory experience

8.1

Death of Nintendo (2020)

A deceptively thoughtful coming-of-age story that knows how to use nostalgia

7.5

Norte, the End of History (2014)

An epic Filipino take on Crime and Punishment that's as harrowing as it is poetic

8.8

The Woman Who Left (2016)

A Golden Lion-winning moralistic tale from slow cinema master Lav Diaz

7.4

Days of Being Wild (1990)

A dreamy rumination on the beauty of unattainable romance

8.1

Betty Blue (1986)

Artistic frustration is only temporarily sated by love in this erotic, supposedly psychological, drama

6.5

How to Have Sex (2023)

A drunken summer vacation turns melancholy in this sober observation of teenage rites of passage

7.7

LaRoy, Texas (2024)

Blackmail and betrayal intersect in this small town Texan crime comedy

7.0

The Trial of the Chicago 7 (2020)

A star-studded and riveting legal drama with a blockbuster feel.

8.1

Forgotten Love (2023)

The stunning third take of the classic Polish pre-war melodrama

7.7

Curated by humans, not algorithms.

agmtw logo

© 2024 agoodmovietowatch, all rights reserved.