Simply Appetizing

Not my fingers!

Namets! can be purely explained as a sit down meal in a chic restaurant along the metropolis. It has an appetizer, a main course, a few entremets, and a sweet dessert. It has a good potential to amuse the mainstream audience. It is a love story to say the least with a touch of humor. If Namets! is the entire menu, I have to say that they have some delightful entrees.

Jacko (Christian Vasquez) gets bankrupt after losing a bet in a cockfight. He loses ownership of Puccini’s, an Italian Restaurant to a charismatic man famously called Boss Dolpo played by Peque Gallaga. Luckily, the hushed Dolpo loves food so much and was delighted with Jacko’s cooking skills. He was hired to be the cook of the restaurant in-the-making. Meanwhile, Cassie (Angel Jacob) is hired to be the food consultant. It surprises Jacko as Cassie is his former girlfriend, making him think that Cassie is making her sweet revenge.

Namets! is shown in last year’s Cinemalaya Film Festival. I was not able to watch any of the films in competition unfortunately as most of the films I wanted to see were all sold out. That is great to hear though. Namets! shows a pretty good grasp on how to make films concerning food with dynamism and originality. Its take on how to make a film more appetizing is incredibly seen. There are supplementary sequences oblique from the core story showing the Negrense Cuisine evolution. It also shows the proper way of eating the famous Bacolod Chicken Inasal. And of course, Ilonggo’s serious craving for Napoleones, a to-die-for glazed pudding.

Aside from the qualities of the film and the food, I would certainly agree with how the characters are molded within the story. Like what I have said in my Yanggaw review, my father is from Bacolod. He grew up in Silay for most of his childhood. We always go there for a fine vacation visiting our relatives. Jacko’s character is so true. I think its innate in most rich probinsiyanos with the way he lives. He changes his mind from one course to another until he ends up doing nothing. Most of my cousins are like that and it doesn’t matter because they have wealth and would have a back-up just in case. Their love for food is so serious and I certainly have lived up to this. Whenever we go to Bacolod, we always eat out and it is a must that the food is a hundred percent good or else. And why can’t I deprive to eat in that place? Their dishes are all sumptuous and I agree that the best time to eat La Paz Batchoy is during the afternoon.

Cassie’s character is the contrast of Jacko. She is independent and is well organized. Has a clear position in her life and has goals that she wants to accomplish. She appears to be rakish in her actions taking in consideration that she studies at Le Roche Culinary in Switzerland. All of a sudden, when love is again re-sparkled, she slows down a bit and savors the best thing life can offer. There could be a revenge factor on the first look with how she corresponds to Jacko. But her heart does not allow her to do so.

Namets! is a technically superior indie film. The interiors of both restaurants are laudably decorated. The music of Vince de Jesus is enchanting. The director Jay Abello and his writer Vicente Gracia Groyon has made an enticing film. I think Jacob is not an Ilongga but her accent will very much pass for an Ilongga socialite. And I commend her on how natural she gets into her character. Vasquez is well likely to play the part as he is a true-blooded Ilonggo.

The way to know Ilonggos are through food. I remember talking to my Auntie when she makes her classic Molo Soup. I will always ask her how she makes it. She will ask me back, what did you taste in the soup? And I will answer every ingredient I have tasted. Then we will go through the process and the secret ways of doing it until I realize that there is no secret but just common sense. Namets! is basic. I enjoyed watching it not because of acquired taste or cultural biases but it is because it is simple and pleasing to the senses.

Charlie Koon's Rating:

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