I was furious. 5 minutes inside the cinema I was about to leave and demand for a refund. I found myself watching a ridiculous soft porn that didn't even have a love scene worthy of an erection.
"Celia? Rico? Celia?! Rico?!" Diana Zubiri's character was foolishly calling out for his husband (Polo Ravales) and a mysterious guest (Francine Prieto) while the two are obviously beating it around the bush, and that's to be literal about it.
I mean, it's a stupid scene. You totally can hear your husband's monkey business and you keep on calling his name as if you don't know what's going on? Duh. More funny is that the cheating husband and the slut are not even hushing themselves. They keep going on. This outrageous setting is somewhere in the middle of the film. The scene is crazy.
But I decided to stay. I closed my eyes, just too tired to actually go away from the shame of seeing a really bad movie. I thought, probably I could just sleep here a bit.
And then it hit me. There's this pop-culture adage that you should never get into a movie halfway. It rings true for this catch.
The story progressed and I found out that part of the movie I hated was intended to be absurd and unrealistic. Part of the plot.
How can I judge the story so easily? I was mistaken. I soon realized I was watching a good film. 'Twas not perfect; not the best screenplay either. But it's a good story. And it is not soft porn. It might be classified as a sex drama, or a suspense-thriller, or a next-level bold film. It's a serious, dramatic peek into a woman's psychosis. The character is so alike Mort Rainey of Stephen King's Secret Window. And that's a good thing, considering this is a Tagalog movie with lots of skin.
I watched the film all over again and everything fell into place. Although Diana Zubiri's acting isn't superb, she got the message across. Francine Prieto and Polo Ravales are mere elements to the cinematic effect of the mind's confusion. In fact, the scene I bashed earlier did not really include the husband or the other woman. Diana was all alone all along.
Romy Vitug's cinematography is beautiful and the Nueva Ecija (remote village) setting is perfect. Lighting (and all that) made the night scenes clearly visible, and at daytime made the characters' skin look sacred and golden. A pointer for us who plan on shooting a project with extra skin and sweat and you-know-what.
I give it 7 out of 10 stars. And I definitely recommend it. It's not a no-brain film like it appears to be. And true to Director Joel Lamangan's word and despite its misleading sex-filled teasers, it is not a Peeping Tom's fantasy! It is in fact something that will make you think--- to connect the dots and in the end congratulate yourself that you understand what it means. Ha!
Like what my special friend Jong and I always have - parallel conversations. You know, those talks that you have many topics being discussed at the same time. You might need to stop and shut up a bit and make the connections. Then you appreciate the big picture.
By the way, thanks to Jong for another rendezvous at McCafe. Cappuccino and cigarettes and conversation. I told her about Silip and I give her credit for apparently paying attention to my usual geeking-for-a-film-I-just-watched.
And as usual, her analysis comes up with this: Moral of the story--- Always watch a movie whole, form start to end. It's not good to take a peek.