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My tummy aches
“Three things cannot long stay hidden: the sun, the moon, and the truth.” – Siddhartha Gautama
Every family has a dark secret. Seldom is it that secrets are brought into the grave. For some, there are stories that are not supposed to be told. There are pasts that will be forgotten. At times, we are enforced to deal with issues and hollow out things that remain in quietude. Motorcycle is one of the films in competition in this year’s Cinema One Originals 2008. It is directed by Jon Red and co-written by a real life rider Karlo de Guzman. Motorcycle is not the grandiloquent type of film nor too artsy. It is simple and self-effacing. Motorcycle will certainly have a special place in my heart.

Motorcycle is the story of The Rider (Jason Abalos) who takes care of his ill Father (Nonie Buencamino). His father has lung cancer. Before his father dies, The Rider is given a letter by his father. He is instructed to give it to a person residing in Vigan, Ilocos Norte. Little did he know that his journey will unlock hidden truths to his real identity.

Red’s previous works were unimpressive. Motorcycle is such a surprise. The bond between The Rider and His Father comprises most of the flashbacks. It is a way to show and evoke the special union between the two. Even their vacation in Ilocos Norte is still vivid with The Rider’s memory. The simplicity of the story relies with the connection of The Rider between his friends and some relatives. There are hints on what is in store for him after his father’s death. There are questions raised. Although The Rider goes through the death without too much heartbreak. Once he reminisces their solid relationship he starts to shed tears and let the emotions be released.

Motorcycle might captivate viewers who have strong bonds with their fathers. Even when you have trepidations in the past, the entire union will always be only one of its kind. Abalos gives a fine performance as the son of Buencamino. Both of them are naturalistic actors and have previously proved their craft in acting, mostly in independent features. Red has certainly gained my admiration on how I see him as a filmmaker. And we have to be reminded that Red is also one of the pioneers of digital filmmaking. Red crafted Motorcycle with minimalist style in acting and sets the mood with subtleness in letting go of one’s emotions. Without being too sexist, the restraint is truly a product of superior acting.

In films, fathers are sometimes disregarded as major players. They have lesser dramatic roles and are more reserved. It is a reflection on the traditional social structures of Filipinos. On a writer’s point of view, it could be hard to pitch this kind of story. It could look and sound too simple. But Motorcycle has explored the characters with confidence. The fathers we look up to are also human. They also make mistakes. In the end, love will overshadow the misdeeds. It is a form of liberation.


Charlie Koon's Rating:


Anonymous said...

We agree that the film was simple yet inspiring. We particularly admired its quietness (minimal scoring)and elegant visuals. No hysterics in the drama. Hope it gets shown in other venues. Red's previous works were experimental and obviously had different intentions. They should not be compared to Motorcycle. Those works were from a different world.. daring and groundbreaking.

Karen, FEU

Charlie Koon said...

thanks Karen. yeah i do agree that Red's previous works are way different. I am more inclined to praise mature works. Red definitely progressed the way he made Motorcycle. :)

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