What happens when three tons of cocaine wash up on the shores of a poor fishing community in Samar? This is a complicated question that Cebuano director Kerwin Go answers in a simple yet very entertaining way in his full length film directorial debut in Mina-Anud.
Lead stars Dennis Trillo and Jerald Napoles play best friends in a close-knit surfing group in Samar. Tired of always getting the short end of things in life, they find an opportunity to make quick money after discovering packs of cocaine being hoarded by a nearby barangay captain (Lou Veloso) who is unaware of the real value of his loot. Matteo Guidicelli plays their former surf buddy-turned-celebrity Paul who becomes their biggest customer and ultimate downfall.
Dennis is in his element here playing the more serious, brooding member of the group named Ding, a family man constantly torn between enjoying a laidback lifestyle and trying to find ways to support and save his family.
On the other hand, Jerald Napoles's character Carlo is the direct opposite of his more careful best friend. Laidback, carefree, and irresponsible, his only wish in life is to finally win first place in their town's annual surfing contest and eventually get the girl of his dreams.
The movie is fast paced, engaging, and smartly edited, without having to resort to having too much romance, comedy, and absurd situations only seen on the big screen. But what really separates Mina-Anud from becoming another drug-themed movie is the standout acting, ample character development, compelling storytelling, and characters that people can actually relate to.
Despite it's overtones of greed and corruption from the police force, Mina-Anud gets its point across without turning off the audience with gratuitous violence or cheesy dialogue. The PDEA (Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency) officer played by Alvin Anson is eerily more menacing whenever he takes on a calm tone.
Matteo's scenes as a celebrity who loves to party and do drugs has him showing a bolder, grayer side of himself that his previous roles may not have allowed him to portray. His friendship with the two surfers eventually leads them into a cycle of dangerous consequences.
Mina-Anud opens in theaters nationwide starting August 21, Wednesday. Starring Dennis Trillo, Jerald Napoles, Matteo Guidicelli, Mara Lopez, Dionne Monsanto, Lou Veloso, and Alvin Anson. Directed by Kerwin Go. The movie is a HOOQ Original movie under Regal Films entertainment.