Colors of Intrigue


Excommunication by the Church was flagrant during the Spanish Era. Even when the excommunicated dies, they will never be recognized by the church. It is a belief that that their soul is often seen as committed to hellfire. Kolorete (Rouge) is red cosmetic for coloring the cheeks or lips. It is a film directed by Ruello Lozendo and written by Sherad Anthony Sanchez. Ironically, the film is shot in black and white. The film depicts the lives of Filipino people during the Spanish Occupation. It has a fascinating manner of how the characters are established in the film. I am personally hooked with it. But to my dismay, it is only up to the intriguing aspect that it has delivered.

Luciano (Roeder Camañag) organizes a zarzuela for the departure of the Alkalde Mayor. The play is agreed and sanctioned by Father Antarez (Edgar Sandalo). Isabel’s (Coreen Chan) singing prowess qualifies her to a role in the play. Magdalena (Angeli Bayani) who has an inferior voice pitch is also chosen to be in the play. With the arrival of Asuncion (Jean Judith Javier) a soprano based in Singapore, the secrets start to unravel.

Actually, I am confused with how I am to describe the film’s story. Or is it the progression of the film that is confusing? It is hard to describe which character gets the role in the play precisely. But as the film progresses, the role of Magdalena goes to Isabel. Just a little spoiler, Magdalena did not show up on the day they will present the zarzuela. It was deliberated that Asuncion will play the role of Magdalena. But then, it is Isabel who gets to play it. The confusing plot twist might be part of it – I presume.

The film has the intriguing elements with how the characters are shown. There is irony with how they portrayed the roles. Father Antarez looks too innocent to be the antagonist of this film. It is also deliberated by the director of the film that the role of Asuncion must look androgynous. The tension that has been built in the film is like a revolution. The surmounting silence in the film is likely to break. But when we look closely at the characters’ layering and how the story develops, the mystique that veils each character was not fully uncovered up to the end. It still holds on to the secrecy and shifts to a different perspective years after the story takes place. It is also noteworthy on the believability of the movie since it is a period film after all.

Apart from the classy look the film has rendered, Kolorete meant belies the thirst for freedom Filipinos have silently been screaming for decades. Through the zarzuela, the musical pieces ignite the dormant passion of Filipinos to unfetter the aim of social equality. We might be confused with how the character’s lives are presented. But it meets its objective by doing so. But then, it could have been foretold in a way that the truth within each mystery is set off in the end with clarity. I am already intrigued. We deserve to be enlightened.

Charlie Koon's Rating:

The Love Revolution
(For the Zarzuela within the film)

.............................................I’ll Kill You

Kolorete has incorporated the Spanish lyric-dramatic genre called Zarzuela. Diwa de Leon composed and arranged the songs in the zarzuela. It is a love story set in a far away land. Isabel is in love with Tertulles. But then his brother Arcillo disapproves their love and seeks revenge.

The story is narrated by Asuncion (Jean Judith Javier) mostly in operatic performance. There are minor flaws in the libretto that is overfilled with the notes. It could be terser with the words, since it sounds too crowded. But as a soprano, she delivers very well. Isabel (Coreen Chan) has to make the notes more rounded as this is the style of most kundiman songs. But then, Chan embodies raw singing talent and has able to shell out emotions required for her character. Diwa de Leon is a talented musical composer. Despite the flaws in the zarzuela musical structure, it is still a superior work. It is a fuel of a person’s longing for independence.

Charlie Koon's Rating:

Kolorete Soundtrack by Diwa de Leon on Imeem

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Lauro Zyan Caina wrote the zarzuela and libretto.

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