Although REQUITED is set in the midst of enchanting landscapes, the film tackles the deeper issue of suicide as seen through the story of Matt. He is our main protagonist who is experiencing the early stages of Parkinson’s disease and is going through other health problems. Somehow, I want to explore why people commit suicide and how they lose the will to continue to live.
One of the ironies of the story is we have a character who is hell bent to finish a long distance biking quest under a questionable health, harsh conditions and tough roads. However, at the end of his “triumph of the human spirit” endeavor, he plans to end his life at Mt. Pinatubo Lake — a beautiful place that was once a beast when it wreaked havoc as a volcano.
Even though the film is not really a love story, it has a story of love threaded into it. Through Matt and Sandy’s complex feelings for each other, the journey of the film takes place not only in the stunning landscapes but also in their soul. It shows how the noise of arguments and how the quiet unspoken voices of the hearts define a relationship.
The film also shows how hard and painful it is to be unrequited and how it is much harder to continue loving someone who can’t love us in return yet still be with them as one grapple with the feeling of not being love in return.
Another irony is that Matt and Sandy both find suffering and comfort with each other as they witness themselves with one another, in the landscapes they see, the people they meet and the journey they undertake. At the end of it all, they learn the deeper value of life and each other.
I see REQUITED as a romantic paean for the love of biking, the beautiful nature and landscapes of the Philippines, the enduring qualities of the human soul amidst challenges and a paean to getting over the barriers of unrequited love.
— Nerissa Picadizo —