REVIEW: Tuhog   7 comments

Tuhog

Skylight Films, the indie army of Star Cinema, does their own celebration of the film outfit’s 20th year by coming up with a comedy that plays with intertwined fates of three strangers. Written and directed by Veronica Velasco, and starred by Eugene Domingo, Leo Martinez, Enchong Dee, and Jake Cuenca, Tuhog is a take on the connection of me, you, and everyone else you know.

Due to a highway bus accident, three strangers Tonio (Leo Martinez), Caloy (Enchong Dee), and Fiesta (Eugene Domingo) are literally connected by a piece of steel bar; unfortunately for them, the small hospital where they were directed has only two operating rooms, and before the decision can be made, we get a glimpse of their own lives prior to the said incident. There, we see Tonio, a retired family man, whose aim is to put up a bakery.  Fiesta is a cranky female bus conductor who’s being haunted by her past, while Caloy is a typical college student whose world revolves with the notion of finally having her long distant girlfriend deflowered.

On the outside, it’s easy to dismiss the definition of the film’s title from the main conflict that the film presented. If you’re a fan of Grey’s Anatomy, you’ll have a clear idea of what I’m referring to in the Season 2 episode Into You Like a Train. However, it goes deeper than that. We were then presented that even before the accident, there were already instances where the three characters have intertwined in the past. And I think that’s where the movie clearly succeeds – that there were already some puzzle pieces even before the picture was made.

Veronica Velasco really knows how to connect the story to the audience and vice versa. I like how each of the backstories were tackled, though it’s safe to say that Caloy’s story was the weakest of the three. Not because it was the lightest, but because it’s the one that comes close (but definitely didn’t) from being a filler. The most interesting one is hands down the first one with Tonio. It’s stories like his that personally strikes the most interest for me because it’s  a scenario that others can possibly see themselves at. Fiesta’s segment is the perfect middle story; it might not be the most original story, but it is successful in what it presented, and the crowd I was with definitely ate all of it up. If anything, the only thing I wasn’t particularly fond of was the resolution part as it tends to become preachy, and it seems sort of out of place to what the build up did.

I’ll dedicate a paragraph of my review to say this, because I want them to get the much deserved props, but the visuals in here is really fresh and well thought. The opening credits is one of the best I’ve seen in local cinema for a long time, and it is talents like such that convinces me that we need more avenue to expose them because the talent is clearly there.

With three different stories to tackle, a large ensemble is needed, and for the most part, I think all of them were okay. I don’t remember anything that strikes as an odd man out. Eugene Domingo was her typical charismatic self, and while most people know her for her comedic skills, her dramatic ones were equally good too. Enchong Dee is the definition of a boy next door and this role plays right up his alley. My favorite though is Leo Martinez, as one who is still in denial of his current state and simply aims for his dream to push through, you’d feel for him and what he’s going through. Martinez together with his barkada in the film (Bodjie Pascua, Jon Achaval, Menggie Cobarrubias) is one of the most enjoyable portrayal of friendship I’ve seen.

Tuhog is a very competent and inspired take on life’s many possibilities and how fate can possibly bring us to see that. It’s one that can make you ask questions about yourself despite not getting the answers instantly.

RATING: 4/5

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7 responses to “REVIEW: Tuhog

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  1. Pingback: Tuhog | Pinoy Rebyu

  2. Great cast from the lead roles to the support. This movie was well thought. Kudos to Veronica Velasco.

    It was nice to see old actors come back (Bodjie, Jon and Menggie). And always fresh to see an old familiar face of a child actress, Allyzon Lualhati as one of the doctors. It wasn’t a powerful scene, I hope it did have a bit more drama thou. I hope with fresh concepts like tuhog in the PH cinema we will also recognize the talents of actors.

    Thank you for the article, after reading I immediately watched the movie.

    • Hi Rachelle! Yes, I agree. It’s always refreshing to see again these familiar faces light up the screen. Though at first, I was bothered by the dubbing of Allyson Lualhati’s voice. Was that hers? It doesn’t sound like. But then again, that’s the least of the concern. LOL.

      And thanks too, if you were convinced enough by this review to personally see the film. And great to know that you enjoyed it. 🙂

  3. Hello!

    I just saw this film and personally, I would rate both the production (including the casting, set, script etc) & the plot a 4.5 stars. Yes, I remember the episode from Grey’s Anatomy, but this Pinoy film took it to another level. Seems like the actors were picked the right way, the lines were delivered how it’s supposed to be delivered.

    Every angle of the camera is perfectly placed.
    Some editing glitch, though.
    Not the best musical score but it sufficed.
    The team picked or produced a soundtrack (Scared to Death) that perfectly fits the movie’s argument.

    This movie hit the bull’s eye when it decided to treat its audience as smart thinking Pinoys who know how to engage and relate to other people’s lives.

  4. Pingback: Review: ‘Tuhog’ (2013) | Film Police

  5. Beautiful movie! Kudos to excellent cast especially Eugene, Leo, Noel and Jake. What a story!

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