When the trailer of "The Trial" was released, we've read a lot of comments where the film is being compared to Korean hit Miracle Cell No. 7. Well, actually it's not the same thing and Chito Roño's latest offering simply touches the hearts of its viewers.
Ronald (John Llyod Cruz) is a 27-year-old mentally challenge graduating elementary student who is also having a part-time job in his school as a gardener. He is accused of raping his teacher Bessy, (Jessy Mendiola) with a video surfacing as a proof of evidence. Soon, a rape case is filed to put Ronald into prison, and he immediately needs to find someone to help him on court with his trial.
It's pretty obvious that most of our tagalog films rely with romantic comedy films starring popular love teams. Finally, we've got something on mainstream that takes on a spin to break the thread of some recent releases. The theme of the film is delicate to handle due to the topic (rape & mentally challenge person) used in it. However, the delivery is basically straightforward and assessed well, enough to produce a good quality of the story. The only problem is, it tries hard to insert too much story in the process making the film a bit long because of some flashbacks and other stuffs that are needed to be justified.
What made the film even more powerful is because of stellar cast. John Llyod Cruz provided a career-best performance selling the hardship of his character. He shows his versatility and easily captivates the hearts of his viewers. We never knew that we would love Gretchen Barretto. At first, we thought that she was not the perfect fit for the role as we consistently see her playing as the villain in films and soap operas. She might be out of her comfort zone, but she managed to provide impressive emotions of a grieving mother. Sylvia Sanchez and Vince De Jesus also did a great job as Ronald's parents, as they bring quality minutes producing humor and drama when they need to.
Overall, The Trial is a very interesting film with an outstanding cast giving solid performances to make the movie memorable. It is compelling, heart-wrenching and occasionally funny. Well, if your asking if John Lloyd did it? You'll need to watch and find the answer for yourself, so we won't spoil anything. Another advice, bring some tissues along, as the film is a definite tearjerker.
Lakwatsera Lovers rates it 9.5 out of 10 stars
Cast: John Llyod Cruz, Jessy Mendiola, Richard Gomez
Directed by: Chito S. Roño
Distributed by: Star Cinema
Now Showing in cinemas nationwide