How did you spend your Christmas holidays? Me, I spent it spending some money for a couple of tickets to the Metro Manila Film Festival 2010, simply because Philippine cinema needs our support and by the look of things, the industry needs all the help it can get.
Just watched two films: Ang Tanging Ina and Shake, Rattle and Roll.
Why? Both films are successful franchises in the Philippines. Ang Tanging Ina starring comedienne Ai-ai delas Alas is now on its third film but pales to the number the horror anthology Shake, Rattle and Roll franchise has–now on its 12th iteration.
I figure I needed a good laugh and a good scare.
My review and re-write of the film after the jump!
WARNING: There be SPOILERS here!
ANG TANGING INA is amusingly awkward, like a little, giggling kid trying to find my body’s tickle spots. I could almost smile and shake at my head on the Filipino film formula in comedy. There was even the trip to the beach, I was half-expecting a musical dance number on the sand dunes.
The main character INA has done almost everything a woman, a Filipina, can achieve in her lifetime. She’s been a career-woman, wife, widow, mother, single mother, mother-in-law, grandmother and the President of the country– in short, she’s a role model for all womankind. Now it seems like she couldn’t top herself anymore, Life gives her a curve ball of a curtain call.
Well, that’s what the film is: a curtain call of a very profitable trilogy. They even tried to gather all the past cast for the feature, but they couldn’t get them all, unfortunately. Amidst the audience, there were whispers of WHO among Ina’s many children was missing, and the actor who didn’t have the ?, who supposed to have a busy, busy schedule not to even grace the film with a cameo. It’s almost a shame really– one actor was living in Japan but was willing to be flown over to be part of the film’s production. Near the end, they decided to make a big joke of the missing actor.
What I think…? If the production were unable to procure the willing special participation of that particular actor, I think they should have just killed off the character, giving Ina another side to her already multi-faceted life– a mother who has to bury her own child. Now that would be an interesting story to tell, rather than the one that I’ve just seen in the theater. It would have given the film a dramatic core to all the comedic fluffiness.
My viewing experience of the film was very much ruined by the faulty audio in the theater. There was plenty of bad echoes which made a lot of the dialogue near-undecipherable.
Another lame gag in the film was they tried to do was to insert the re-appearance of Ina’s dead husbands. Four actors played Ina’s husbands but only three were willing to participate in the film. (the fourth actor completely retired from show business). The gag was Ina was seeing her dead husbands’ ghosts as if they’re trying to fetch her for the after-life, then it was revealed that they were actually living men who were just look-alikes of Ina’s past loves. And later, they too came a-courting. Uhuh. Yeah, what a stretch.
Wouldn’t it be more credible and just as funny that Ina’s fear of death is giving her hallucinations and dreams? I mean instead of having her muse what would be heaven like with four dead husbands waiting for her, just show it. And what were those three living fools doing at the cemetery, dressed in black?
My re-write of the gag: In a fear-stricken sleep, Ina dreams of being in the after-life having to choose among her three dead husbands, who represent three different kinds of heaven, to spend all eternity together. It then becomes a game show, like let’s see what’s behind Door #1, Door #2 et cetera. when Ina asks the Heavenly Host where her 1st husband is (who is a compulsive debtor/gambler), she is shown his present situation in Hell where everything is steamy-hot and tempting…
My re-write of the film: The country’s one and only mother-for-all-seasons, INA, has done everything a Filipina could achieve in a lifetime. Her family is happy and successful but that’s only at the surface, Ina knows her family has problems but as long as they’re together and she’s around, there’s nothing they can’t face. However, a sudden tragedy befalls Ina’s family with the accidental detah of her fourth child which sends Ina into a deep, near-deadly depression. Can Ina’s family put aside their differences and petty squabbles to rally together to revive the woman who has given them life?
An interesting aside, the film garnered most of the MMFF awards this year, including Best Actress for Ai-ai delas Alas and Best Director for Wenn Deramas. Is it well-deserved? *mouth in a drawn, tight line*
So did you take part in viewing the MMFF entries this year? How was your experience?
To be continued… SineBuano@MMFF 2010, 12/26 Part 2: More Roll, less Rattle and no Shake please.