Friday, January 27, 2006

Movie Time!

In line with my resolution of watching more (quality) Filipino films, I went out with bobby to see this gem. Admittedly, I haven't heard of this film before. I only heard it from Ian. Well, mainly because I'm not that much of an enthusiast/connoisseur like he is. But nevertheless, if you want to see something fresh, go head out to the nearest SM mall and see this film (yup, SM malls only. I really don't know why, but maybe its CineMalaya's cinema of choice).

It starts out really fast. The editing is surprisingly reminiscent of Eternal Sunshine of The Spotless Mind (one of my all time faves). And thats not a bad thing, actually (check out the "beginning" credits at the middle of the screening--nice). And it doesn't fit any mold that you've been used to seeing in Filipino films. The genre is comedy, however the topic is more on the film noir type. Now try to figure that out. Somehow, it really works in the Philippine setting.

This movie came out around the same time of Ang Pagdadalaga Ni Maximo Oliveros. I have to admit, hands down, this movie does it so much better. I mean, no offense to the Maxi groupies, the plot was a bit too....stereotypical. Charming, yes, but highly stereotypical. I always dreamt of a time where in Filipino movies would veer away from such topics as Sex, Sex, More Sex, and homosexuality (in the oh-so-"made to fit the mold" type).

This time it does away with the grand schemes of salvation and happy endings. The two protagonists/antagonists in the film are highly corrupted, and interminably bumbling- in other words, very endearing. And I didn't know Dante Balboa (that uber macho boldy from 2 years or so ago, now known as Winston Elizalde) could act. Michael De Mesa blew me away. I know that he is good, but I never realized he is of this caliber. Props goes to Monique Wilson's brother. I guess its in their genes.

The story weaves in and out of the characters who were cleverly fleshed out. Almost everyone did a stellar performance. More worthy of an accolade than those from "award winning" entries. You can't help but feel that this is the real thing. And I hope Cinemalaya churns out more of these in the future.

Read more of it here

Good news to Alessandra-philes (ok so that isn't really a word, shutup). Good thing: something international for our waifish palengkera goddess. Bad thing: I really wanted to like this film, but its too...chinese for my taste. Maybe I can put it like this: The Maid is to Singaporeans as Shake, Rattle & Roll to the Filipinos. Meaning, you have to have at least a general understanding of their myths and superstitions to not get put off by the oftentimes ridiculous supernatural occurence.

Its starts with a monologue explaining that every seventh month on the Chinese calendar (meaning September), the gates of hell open and "hungry ghosts" escape to the world of the living to reap offerings and to exact revenge on those who've wronged them.

If you were like me, you would have stopped with the gates of hell part and had sashayed out of the theater. But the camp factor of Alessandra is just too strong for me to resist. And besides, my boy is Chinese. Nuff said. Sitting through the movie, however, was worth the price of admission. There were moments of real chills (but plenty of cheap ones as well), and the plot was kinda so-so. If there's one thing to give to it as a credit, The Maid is far from predictable. I was slightly delighted with the the twist in the end.

Now if they could just stop stereotyping our Filipinas from the Domestic Helper mold and stop being asses about it, then it would be peachy.

Watch it, if only for Alessandra de Rossi. (hindi naman halatang gusto ko siya no?)


O sige na nga: seeing 1 exceptional movie and one fair enough movie evens it out to very good, doesn't it? Now go, watch.

[Music of the Moment: Bigtime Theme Song ]
[Mood: light and darkness ]


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