I spent a big portion of the week watching film entries for Cinemalaya 2017. Although, as of this writing, I have failed to watch two full-length films and the two sets of short films. That being said, watching films in that kind of setting, I can’t help but share my thoughts about each film that I was able to watch.
Before I share my short reviews, a disclaimer: Most of what I’ll be saying would be a matter of preference. If ever you get that chance to watch the films in future screenings, please do so. Feel free to comment and discuss these films below.
One word: Madilim.
Throughout the film, it seemed like the entire story happened during the early morning or at night even though some dialogue would indicate otherwise. I was personally confused all throughout, not knowing where they were taking the story or what the entire thing was really about.
The revelation at the end of film only confused me even more. Although the ending was clear, I couldn’t figure out how the story got to that point. I couldn’t remember any hints or indications.
Baconaua isn’t a movie that I would recommend.
Bagahe deserves applause for its purpose of raising awareness and educating its audience. Angeli Bayani also gave a wonderful performance in my opinion and should be really considered for Best Actress.
However, that being said, Bagahe was very dragging. It was a slow, slow…slow movie. There were a lot of things shown that I thought weren’t necessary and could have made the film move faster.
To conclude, watch for the message but sleep for the beginning.
ANG GURO KONG ‘DI MARUNONG MAGBASA
Ang Gusto Kong ‘Di Marunong Magbasa is another case of a film with good intentions and with a good message. It raises awareness to the need for better education in our secluded areas and towns as well as the violence that these areas might be experiencing.
But that is all the good things that I could say about the film. The script, if not the entire film, felt like an MMK episode. The film was written like it was for TV. Not to sound to harsh, but there were moments that I felt like cringing because of the dialogues and what was happening on screen.
The sound mixing was also sub-par.
Requited was the film that I looked forward to watching. Even before the festival started, it was number one in my list. It’s safe to say that I had high expectations for it. Sadly, I was disappointed.
The concept of a person wanting to bike from Manila to Mt. Pinatubo before his physical condition wouldn’t allow him appealed to me. I expected to find a film of discovery and enlightenment. I found neither. After the credits rolled, all I could think of was: What was the point?
Kiko Boksingero, much like its Baguio setting, was like a breath of fresh air. It was a relief for me. Up to that point, I had already watched four films and was found disappointed.
Kiko Boksingero was enjoyable movie all throughout. The visuals were also pretty good. To quote what my friend tweeted, “Parang ang sarap tuloy mag Baguio”. The story was simple but yet had some depth to it.
A must-watch for this years’ entries. I hope they extend it or they get to screen it somewhere else.
To echo what I, and other movie-watchers, have said already, Respeto para sa Respeto. Based on the seven films that I was able to watch, this is, in my opinion, the best of them all.
It was sad and awesome at the same time. The music and sounds were excellent. The cinematography was great as well. I left the theater with a smile on his face, and huge hangover of the film.
As the credits rolled, the audience actually gave it applause. There’s nothing more I can say about it. You have to watch it for yourself. Given the great reception in Cinemalaya, and the popular cast of Abra and Loonie, Respeto will probably have a widespread theater run.
ANG PAMILYANG HINDI LUMULUHA
Ang Pamilyang Hindi Lumuluha served as a breaker for me, although it was the last film I watched. It sets itself apart from the other entries because it was a comedy. It was light as opposed to the very heavy content of Bagahe, or the dark setting of Baconaua. The premise was also unique and different in my eyes.
The film gives a few laughs. It seemed like every scene had a ton of jokes or hirits. With that volume of joke attempts, it is bound to get laughs (Reminds me of myself).
However, Ang Pamilyang Hindi Lumuluha felt a lot like a one of those old Filipino comedies. Watch it if you want to have break from all the heaviness, but you’re not missing much if you don’t.
P.S. Shoutout to Moi Bien, who was a big part in getting all the laughs.
With the Cinemalaya closing on August 13 (Sunday), I don’t think I would still be able to watch more films, even though I wish to watch all the competition entries (Short Films included).
Again, these are just one man’s reviews. Feel free to share your thoughts, and maybe I’ll post reviews again for some entries of the Pista ng Pelikulang Pilipino this August 16-22.
*I apologize if there any errors or typos. Didn’t have time to review and proofread.