Tag: full length movie

Ma’Rosa: A Film about the Current Philippine State

It is supposed to be the time of the year when I would write about Cinemalaya, an annual indie-film festival here in Manila.  I would usually write about the movie entry that I enjoyed or touched me to the core.  However, I opted not to write any of the movies I saw because it seem that the quality of films featured this year seem not worth it.

Instead, let me feature the film I saw over the last weekend.  It was shown in movie houses a year ago and in the comforts of my home that I got to see Ma’Rosa, a film by the brilliant Brillante Mendoza.

MAROSA poster
unexpected! surprisingly brilliant!

Ma’Rosa is the official Philippine entry in last year’s Oscars Foreign Film category.  This movie however failed to make it to the final cut of finalists.  Nevertheless, this is the same movie that was an entry in last year’s Cannes Film Festival in which the lead actress Jacklyn Jose was adjudged as the Best Actress.

The story, the representation, the set and acting seem so real, it felt like I was actually groping into the lives of a poor Filipino family who only have few options of endure life’s challenges.  Jacklyn Jose was so outstanding now I know why she won.

After seeing the movie, I was actually not surprised why the Film Academy of the Philippines chose this movie as last year’s entry to Oscars.  It is because the elements, the texture and the narrative are all Filipino in nature in its present sorry state.  The movie effectively showed and represent how it is to be poor in the Philippines.

I was also not surprised why this movie did not make it to Oscars, maybe it is because the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences of America felt that this Brillante movie was too fictional to the point of being too exaggerated.  But let me oppose that.  I would be one of those Filipinos who was born and raised here, who would dissent at this type of notion.  Ma’Rosa is nothing but real, genuine and existent in this side of the planet.

It was a superb Filipino movie.  It may not have reached the Oscars level but Ma’Rosa is one brilliant Filipino film.  And I hope next year’s Cinemalaya entries would be as exceptional as this one.

Brilyant!

Advertisements

Gaston of Beauty And The Beast

 

Pure enjoyment.  That is how I would describe my general view and opinion after watching the rebooted and newest version of Disney’s Beauty And The Beast.  It is a film that is loaded with thoughts, scenes and features that will warm your heart.  Viewers will definitely fall in love with the lead characters and will delightfully be mesmerized with the characters who were cursed to become inanimate objects.  The Be My Guest scene was spectacular!

I’m pretty sure a lot has been written about the various characters of the movie.  Even LeFou the sidekick of Gaston (the main nemesis) had loads of write ups about him because of his being a member of the LGBT.  And since I am more of a fanatic of the antagonists that those of the usually boring bida, heroes, heroines or protagonists, let me write about Gaston.

Personally, Gaston (superbly played by Luke Evans in the movie) was a potential favorite at the beginning of the story but I eventually dropped him when he turned unreasonably evil.  Gaston was funny and a likeable idiot at first half of the movie.  With the good looks of Luke Evans, I’m pretty sure some of the viewers would rather drop the Beast and instead root for Gaston.

In the movie, Gaston started as a conceited narcissistic dude with a dash of charming-ness but his funny-at-first demeanor suddenly turned unappealing when he starts to get too irrationally sore and unreasonably obsessed with Belle.  I don’t like the Gaston characterization at the end part because it does not have a background on why Gaston turned out to be the Gaston in the movie.  Gaston is unlike other movie nemesis in which a backgrounder is presented on why they turned evil.  I actually just assumed and have to settle on a thought that Gaston who wears a military uniform must be suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder after being in a terrifying war or traumatic battle that is why he is so unstable.

Though with unexplained past and unexplored personal history in the movie, I guess, Gaston’s character and wickedness is one vital need in the movie so as to enhance and further emphasize the pureness of the hearts of both Belle and the Beast.  Without Gaston, there won’t be a tale as old as time, song as old as rhyme, (all together now!) Beauty and the Beast.

Gaston did a pretty good job.  He is actually the true and spot-on beast in the movie.  If he survived the high fall at the end part of the story, he now has adequate reason to rile and aggravate the future lives of the Beauty and the Beast!

Dahil kontrabida ang peg, Team Gaston ako!

Feeling Charmed by The Way He Looks

From my own personal observations and from what I have seen so far, pink movies usually have tragic or sad endings.  It usually has too much or prolonged erotic scenes, it is fully packed with emotional wallop and it’s either too heavy or too flamboyant in terms of plot and characters. Everything seems too extreme making gay movies too cinematic.

Glad to note that all of these observations about a gay movie are not present in the Brazilian feature length film entitled The Way He Looks (original title: Hoje Eu Quero Voltar Sozinho) directed by Daniel Ribeiro.

the way he looks

About two or three years ago, I saw on YouTube the short film version of this movie where it was adapted and directed by the same director.  That is why when YouTube recommended on its page the full length movie’s trailer I initially got confused.  I was telling myself I already saw that adorable film but the images of the movie and the appearances of the characters seem to have changed.  I thought the teaser was a continuation of the short film version and that the characters have grown a bit.  Out of curiosity, I searched for the film online.  I only realized that the director did a re-make of the short film into a new full length movie after I have clicked and searched YouTube.

Luckily for me but unfortunately for filmmaker Ribeiro, the full length version is available on YouTube.  This enabled me to watch and appreciate the beauty and excellence of the film.  Everything about this movie (both the short and the full-length versions) though simply expressed and executed, seem so brilliant – the light, lovable and innocent quality of the storyline, the captivating fineness of the actors, the distinction of the editing and production design and of course the cleverness of the director.

Even the endearing soundtrack is so merit-worthy.  I am now so in love with the song ‘There’s Too Much Love’ by Belle & Sebastian.  My favorite scene in the film includes the playing of this song!  For me it was not the light kissing scene that is the most tender and most charming part of the movie.  Rather it was when Gabriel was teaching the blind Leo how to dance while ‘There’s Too Much Love’ tune is playing.

Another appealing and impressive things about the movie is that it is not just about young gay romance.  It is also about delightful family relationship, super friendship, boosting of self-worth and the quest for independence.

This movie deserves to be released commercially here in the Philippines.  And if it does, expect me to be queuing at the box office and I would definitely be the first person in line.

Libre ko kayo pag pinalabas yan dito sa ‘Pinas.