REVIEW: Corazon Ang Unang Aswang   2 comments

With a very interesting premise on one of Filipino folklore’s most famous characters, the unveiling of “supposedly” the first aswang Corazon left viewers wanting..errr waiting for more, in Richard Somes’s latest tale.

It was the aftermath of the Second World War, and the fictional barrio of Magdalena is slowly recuperating from it. Young couple Corazon (Gonzales) and Daniel (Ramsay) have long since wanted to have a baby of their own, but neighborhood abhors her (because she is the daughter of a prostitute) the same way they abhor crazy woman.. Deandre.. I mean Melinda (Agbayani). Through the help of a healer, she advises Corazon to carry a statue of the patron saint for those longing to have an offspring. All things went well until the moment that Corazon’s baby died just when she was giving birth, and both Corazon (the woman) and Corazon (the film) went downhill from there.

The story sparked interest to a whole lot of people, especially in a country with a rich historical background and folklore is a recurring topic that never gets old. However, it seems as if there was no room for  any expansion in terms of the writing of the main character. Corazon was supposedly a woman that was just tested with a lot of overwhelming circumstances, but instead, we saw a woman overwhelmed with a lot of make up. Melinda is a character that existed just for the “scare” factor, but truth be told, you can remove her part altogether in the movie.

Even the technical aspects of the film were very underwhelming. The barrio setting of the film was probably one of the most unrealistic I’ve ever seen, with roofs that looked newly built, and even the arrangement of the “barrio” itself was pretty unbelievable. The cinematography leaned a lot on sepia just to show off that it’s from the past, and the hues and palettes that the movie used changes from scene to scene. There were a lot of unnecessary love scenes between the two leads that you’d get confused if they were actually trying to conceive a baby or shooting a music video. Speaking of music videos, the editing was also wicked to the point that Corazon, instead of being scary, brought out a surprising amount of laughter from the crowd. There were also obvious signs how Somes was clearly trying to bring the “indie” moments in the film with raw shots of animal killings, but like the film, it failed to materialize.

This would have been the perfect vehicle for Gonzales to shine especially since she has already proven she has the chops as a TV actress. However, the crazy editing and the inconsistent character failed her despite how much I tried to see her save it. She actually was like Rihanna in the music video of Disturbia. That was how the editing failed her big time. Ramsay was the typical leading man with big arms, and it was pretty obvious that it was the casting director’s idea to cast him because his color reeks someone who has been farming for some time now. While they have chemistry as a couple, there’s this part that seemed they were both miscast for their characters. Losing a baby is something that an actual mother’s forte, and while Erich showed moments of brilliance during that scene, the latter just paled in comparison.

Richard Somes came up with a very interesting starter for the film, and it shows how much of his trademark storytelling was present. Sadly, it really didn’t just work this time. This is one perfect example of a movie that has a lot of could have beens. It could have been better if the movie only stick through the weirdness of the premise. It could have been better if there was a consistency in the characterization of Corazon. It could have been better if the movie’s direction did not open a lot of hanging subplots. Sadly for the film, it ended there. Just a big case of could have been

Grade: B-

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Posted March 19, 2012 by Nicol Latayan in Films, Reviews

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2 responses to “REVIEW: Corazon Ang Unang Aswang

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  1. Pingback: Corazon: Ang Unang Aswang « Pinoy Rebyu

  2. Sadly the titular character was poorly written that it was not enough for Erich’s acting to save the film.

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