Hey everyone! Cinema One Originals 2012 officially ended yesterday, so this is pretty much a late post, but what the heck. Sadly, I wasn’t able to watch all movies in competition (I missed Aberya, Anak Araw, and Baybayin and not because I watched films in alphabetical order), but ten out of thirteen is still a good record I guess. Anyway, in case you haven’t seen, here’s Part 1 that includes reviews of Mamay Umeng, Mater Dolorosa, Slumber Party, and EDSA XXX. And here is Part 2 which covers Ang Paglalakbay ng Mga Bituin sa Gabing Madilim, Pascalina, and Catnip.
Here’s the third and last part:
Director: Maribel Legarda
Starring: Gee Canlas, Bong Cabrera, Jerald Napoles
Competition: Cinema One Currents
The film has multiple story lines going on. There’s these three recently dead people whose souls are wandering around Manila. Then there’s also a group of three friends, a pair of sisters and a shy man, and a congressman, his conniving son, and his driver. All of them waiting for something before they can move on with their lives.
If anything, the film is loyal to its title. It really tends to go melodramatic every now and then especially during the stories that involved the three wandering souls. But what’s captivating about it is that I bought every minute of it. The movie was over the top, but it was the intention all along, so it definitely served its purpose. Usually, when you hear the comment “iiyak ka, then matatawa ka then maiiyak ka“, it’s easy to dismiss that film since that means it is uneven at best, but not here. It works in the context of the movie.
In true Layeta Bucoy writing fashion, there’s a lot of tagos worthy lines here. I also like the way she made the characters interact with each other. Gee Canlas started pretty annoying at first, but she totally had me with her Sharon Cuneta references. The whole ensemble was serviceable, though my favorite was the whole segment of Arnel Ignacio scene-stealing turn. It was short, but it was really effective. I totally did get why this got the Audience Choice, and I don’t think I’d argue with that decision.
Director: Ato Bautista
Starring: Alex Medina, Mara Lopez, Mon Confiado
Competition: Cinema One Currents
A young couple (Alex Medina, Mara Lopez) settles in the poverty stricken Quiapo, but with the husband deep in debts to his employer (Mon Confiado), he gave him a life changing offer.
Known primarily as a homage to the original erotic classic Scorpio Nights, this movie has pretty much big shoes to fill, but to no avail, wasn’t able to give it a proper tribute. There’s too much sex going on, however; too less emotions that the viewers are feeling for the characters. There were also a lot of contrived scenes just to give it a more sexual approach, and the ending was predictable. It is also worthy to mention that the first sex scene between Mara Lopez and Mon Confiado took forever to be over one has to wonder if the target audience was men suffering from erectile dysfunction. The casting was good though; Mon Confiado really gives this creepy boss vibe well, Alex Medina has this raw enthusiasm that is transparent in all of his scenes, and Mara Lopez passes the innocent woman from the province role she had. All in all, it was too inconsistent to effectively work, though there there were some bright spots in it.
MARIPOSA SA HAWLA NG GABI
Director: Richard Somes
Starring: Erich Gonzales, Alfred Vargas, Mark Gil, Joel Torre
Competition: Cinema One Plus
Innocent young lady Maya (Erich Gonzales) travels to Manila in order to find her long seen sister. The moment she sets her foot there, her long journey will lead her to endless horrifying discoveries.
The good things: The production design was top notch, probably my favorite of the year. It was lively, colorful, and sets the mood of this world that Maya entered. Mark Gil and to an extent, Joel Torre, were the clear standouts. Mark was flamboyant and over the top, and he was so into it that such commitment is fun to watch on screen. Torre was also committed, though not given the same chance as Gil.
The bad ones: Given that this runs a two hour mark, I won’t be surprised if people lost interest halfway. There’s nothing solid to hold on to in terms of the characters. Yes it was packed, but I would have been fine with more minutes if it can open the characters a lot more to its viewers. Nevertheless, it was visually stunning, but there’s more than meets the eye.