Doll House (2022) review: Mediocre one-time watch

Doll House is a Netflix original Filipino movie that revolves around the character of a drug addict who moves to Rotterdam to rekindle with his daughter. However, due to his shortcomings in the past, he cannot reveal his true identity. 


The entire movie runs in flashback which sets the major characters in place. Rustin, a drug addict who abandoned his wife and daughter and moved to the Philippines, comes back to Rotterdam after eight years to make repairs and meet his daughter.

His wife had died and so Yumi, Rustin’s daughter, lived with her aunt Rachelle and uncle Bok. Rustin comes into their lives as Clyde to gatekeep his real identity. 

However, his efforts all go in vain when Rachelle recognizes him over a video chat. Even though he is forbidden from visiting Yumi, he tries to find ways to keep meeting her. Yumi and Rustin share a deep bond until the end. 

Rustin’s addiction to drugs and alcohol creates quite a few hurdles in the movie. He sails all through the tempest until one day he falls sick and then unconscious due to an overdose.

Years later, when Yumi gets to know that Rustin was her biological father, she goes to visit him in a healthcare centre where he resided after suffering a stroke. 

The stroke had affected his memory and he could not recognize Yumi when she visited him. However, he kept his promise that he had made to little Yumi and finished the dollhouse he was to give to her before he was hospitalized due to an overdose. 


Baron Geisler executes the character of a troubled father exceptionally well. Traits of realism are sensed as Rustin’s character is raw. 

At times, he is a caring father and at times, his present state – is one of addiction, distortion, and undisciplined. Such an amalgamation makes him stand out and proves to be worthy of the role of the protagonist. 

Althea Ruedas who played the role of young Yumi was convincing and at times, heart-melting. Even though there was no character development, her acting did justice to the role.

Phi Palmos who embodied Bok’s character did well enough as a supporting actor. However, his involvement in the main plot seemed stretched and unnecessary. 


The movie is set in a beautiful location. Hints of cultural diffusion (Filipino characters based in a European country) add a special knack that covers up for a draught storyline.

The theme of unawareness is put into the pedal fantastically through the characters of young Yumi and old Rustin. Both these characters never get to know of their relationship together as young Yumi is never exposed to her father’s true identity until she meets him years later when the latter tended to forget who Yumi was. 

A series of flashbacks accounted for the smooth flow of the movie, keeping the audience engaged with Rustin’s character from time to time.


The movie’s running time was too long for its storyline. Many subplots like Yumi’s auditions and preparations for the same seemed forced and unnecessary. The story had no climax and was quite predictable.

Yumi’s character showcased nothing apart from physical growth. Being such an integral part of the film, her character warranted a little more focus.

Filmmakers cut out the main essence of the movie by not exploring ways in which Yumi could have known of her biological father. 


All in all, even though the performances were exceptional, the movie was boring, drab, and vague. The idea could have been brought to life in a better way by reducing the needless subplots and increasing the complexity of Yumi and Rustin’s relationship. 

Doll House
Doll House (2022) review: Mediocre one-time watch 1

Director: Marla Ancheta

Date Created: 2022-10-07 12:30

Editor's Rating:

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