Flick and Reruns: The Metro Manila Film Fest

Got to watch some of the entries in the 2012 Metro Manila Film Festival. Among the flicks were the historical biopic El Presidente, Sisterakas, Thy Womb and The Strangers, some of my thoughts in the films that I watched.

El Presidente: The Story of Emilio Aguinaldo and the First Philippine Republic-  

Finally a mainstream Filipino movie which is a historical epic, One could appreciate the ambitious retelling of one of the most momentous events in Philippine history; the subsequent birth of the First Philippine Republic told through the perspective of the country's first President, Generalissimo Emilio Aguinaldo. One should really appreciate movies that delve into our country's history since they are far-in-between and also it costs so much to produce a period movie.

Alas the movie fails to succeed due to many factors one of which is the movie's lack of narrative focus. It felt like I was just seeing reenactments of various points of history  also I do not know if the film wanted to be an action film with the many stylish fight/battle scenes or a serious historical drama. The film seemed disjointed because of its cinematic ambition. it cannot be helped that ER Ejercito's wooden acting failed to give his character the much needed emotional sympathy. Crappy CGIs also marred the believability of the battle/fight scenes. Some characters were also miscasted particularly Nora Aunor who plays Aguinaldo's second wife.


If you want guilt-free fun? then go to your favorite cinema and watch Sisterakas. The movie is basically a tale of two half- siblings (Ai Ai delas Alas and Vice Ganda) separated by hatred during their childhood, Totoy (Vice Ganda) vows revenge on his half-sister's family for ruining their life. As fate would have it the two half-siblings would meet again, their lives revolving around the highly glamorous but ultra-competitive world of Philippine fashion where they would also meet the equally campy fashion magnate Roselle (Kris Aquino).

If Sisteraka was a basketball team then Vice Ganda would be the star player of the team. Perhaps 80 or 90% of the laughs belonged to Vice and his wicked ad-libs. Which is a disservice to the movie because if you remove Vice, the film is not that funny. Ai-Ai delas Alas chin (baba) jokes has been done since the 1980s and this is not Tanging Ina series where the material was tailor fit for her. Kris Aquino has that star power but I think she was just coasting along the film as if the film was a satire of her life much in particular to the James Yap jokes which were done in bad taste.

The Strangers

My favorite among the three, The Strangers directed by Lawrence Fajardo is a terrifying tale of a family stranded in a strange countryside. There is a twist in the film and the early parts of the film successfully builds up the tension leading to the twist, There is a Peque Gallagasque touch in the film particularly as Fajardo channels Gallaga's iconic Aswang episode (Shake Rattle and Roll part II) to his film.


Popular Posts