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Cinemalaya 2017: Reviews and Predictions


This year’s edition of Cinemalaya is quite underwhelming. Some films lack the verve and vibe. Mostly, one can pinpoint the overzealous yet one-note screenplays. There seems to be many ideas that either expose a filmmaker’s inexperience, shallow grasp, and sheer lack of maturity. There are at least 3 films that espoused the annual festival’s adherence to independent spirit and excellence – but there are many productions that couldn’t seem to knock the hard-end of budget constraints and the limited production calendar.  Story is still king, but there are really some hard knock elements that require close observation and discipline.  

Short Reviews:

Kiko Boksingero - 4/5
What happens when an unassuming pre-teen gets a chance to have a father for a couple of weeks? In a refreshing manner, there are no firework displays of melodrama which makes backstories and soapy confrontations unnecessary. That makes Thop Nazareno’s simple and heartwarming tale a runaway winner.

Respeto - 4/5
Treb Monteras’ Respeto makes the past and present sociopolitical conditions merge in this high-powered musical-drama about two person's quest to earning respect and acceptance. One loses everything; the other loses his identity.

Baconaua - 3/5
Joseph Laban’s Baconaua isn’t much about the myth or the entire fishing town; it’s a postscript to our postcolonial attitudes and the effects of globalization in the eyes of a dying island country.

Nabubulok - 2/5
It started out as a gripping southern gothic tale until it fizzled in the middle. Sonny Calvento’s Nabubulok cannot maintain its chosen shooting style and becomes more uneven as it flatlines towards the end. It’s not bad but it’s difficult to say it’s an accomplished film.

Bagahe  - 2/5
Zig Dulay’s Bagahe has three narrative and multiple thematic units. And in between, there are other subplots peppered around. It could have ended on the first act, and it would have been more powerful – but they decided there are more stories to tell, there are more things to say.

Requited  - 2/5
NP Picadizo’s Requited is quite the odd mix. It’s a rolling emotional road movie that is earnest in its effort to present the unique phenomena of love and friendship – but somehow, the film literally falls off the cliff and gives us an unexpected turn that ruins its efforts, falling head first.

Sa Gabing Nanahimik ang mga Kuliglig -  1/5
Iar Arondaing’s Kuliglig is riddled with technical inconsistencies. There are so many creative conceits that don’t necessarily translate to making a potent film. Everything falls flat on the surface, and it feels like a second-rate Lav Diaz film.

Ang Pamilyang Di Lumuluha – 1/5
Somewhere along the messy script and uneven direction, Mes De Guzman’s Di Lumuluha exposes Sharon Cuneta’s powerful command of her comedic prowess. However, the sitcom-like setups prove futile against the cast’s dependable talents. All the elements do not fall into the right places.

Ang Guro Kong Di Marunong Magbasa – 1/5
For a film that speaks volumes about dozens of earnest topics, the filmmakers don’t seem to grasp the nuances of the film language. Because Perry Escano’s Guro relies heavily on contrivances and conjectures, the film rather ended offensive and circuitous.

Best Performances :
1.       Yayo Aguila (Kiko Boksingero)
2.       Noel Comia Jr (Kiko Boksingero)
3.       Dido Dela Paz (Respeto)
4.       Abra (Respeto)
5.       Angeli Bayani (Bagahe)
6.       Elora Espano (Baconaua)
7.       Anna Luna (Baconaua)
8.       Sharon Cuneta (Ang Pamilyang Di Lumuluha)
9.       Moi Bien (Ang Pamilyang Di Lumuluha)
10.   Gina Alajar (Nabubulok)

Awards Predictions:

BEST FILM:
What Will Win: RESPETO
What Should Win: KIKO BOKSINGERO

BEST DIRECTOR:
Who Will Win: Treb Monteras (Respeto)
Who Should Win: Thop Nazareno (Kiko Boksingero)

BEST SCREENPLAY:
What Will Win: RESPETO
What Should Win: KIKO BOKSINGERO

BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY:
What Will Win: Respeto
What Should Win: Respeto

BEST EDITING
What Will Win: RESPETO
What Should Win: RESPETO

BEST PRODUCTION DESIGN:
What Will Win: RESPETO
What Should Win: BACONAUA
BEST MUSIC
What Will Win: RESPETO / BACONAUA
What Should Win: BACONAUA

BEST ACTRESS:
Who Will Win: SHARON CUNETA (Ang Pamilyang Hindi Lumuluha). ANGELI BAYANI (Bagahe)
Who Should Win:  ELORA ESPANO (Baconaua)

BEST ACTOR:
Who Will Win: ABRA (Respeto)
Who Should Win: NOEL COMIA JR (Kiko Boksingero)


BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS:
Who Will Win: YAYO AGUILA (Kiko Boksingero), MOI BIEN (Ang Pamilyang Hindi Lumuluha)
Who Should Win: YAYO AGUILA (Boksingero)
Darkhorse: ANNA LUNA (Baconaua)

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR:
Who Will Win:  Dido Dela Paz (Respeto)
Who Should Win: Dido Dela Paz (Respeto)




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