Cinemalaya Movie Review: Taklub (Trap)

Taklub depicts the aftermath of a disaster through the lives of three survivors and families. The movie tells the story from the inside out, providing an insightful commentary on the true cost of loss.

At first glance, the story is just about their everyday lives. As the plot develops the movie uses different details to flesh out their individual narratives. A lingering shot of Bebeth’s mugs, Erwin’s trip to a government office, and Larry’s routine pedicab ride for his kids reveal their backstories. The movie paints a grim picture of the lives they have left. As a result, Taklub is an engaging and nuanced movie even though it’s about a disparate group of people with only one thing in common – tragedy.

The cast does a great job of portraying the personal anguish of their characters. The spotlight, as expected, belongs to the veterans.

Nora Aunor brings in a restrained yet powerful performance. While the other male actors just look stressed, Lou Veloso brings in emotional heft to his character. He carries his cross in silent suffering as a man facing a crisis of faith.

The handheld documentary style fits the narrative. The cinematography did a perfect job of immersing the audience in inhumane living conditions. The camerawork provides a character perspective that makes their stories all the more affecting.

Taklub shows the tediousness of bureaucracy and inconvenience of underfunded facilities, but it has a realistic take of how people really face these adversities without devolving into poverty porn.

In true to life Filipino grit, the characters do what they can to move on. Everyone is determined to survive and the movie doesn’t gloss over the reality of their situation. Despite the survivors’ steely resolve, there are limits to hard work, faith, and compassion.

Consequently, all the characters are trapped in their personal anguish and the aftermath of a super typhoon. Emotional and psychological trauma is more damaging than the financial costs of a disaster.

Unfortunately, the script doesn’t offer any escape. The opening sequence symbolizes the overall theme of the movie. Taklub is a depressing rather than humbling movie experience. It provides an intimate but detached look at the lives of its subjects.

Still, Taklub is a gripping drama. The movie teaches us that the people who suffer the most are the ones left behind as they struggle to accept and let go of what was lost, rebuild what is left, and face whatever life may bring.

Taklub (Trap)


Taklub is an engaging, intimate, and affecting drama that reveals the haunting cost of tragedy through gritty realism.

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