Cheap Labor of Love

Best way to start the day

Pasang Krus (Affliction) is a film that lives up to its title; to the one who will go to see it. It is nearly two hours and it is as if I am watching it with my knees on the ground while struggling my way up to Mount Eternity. Watching this film is synonymous to perpetual agony. I don’t care about the allegory of the film or even the payoff that could have been installed along the course of the story. Apparently the efforts of some of the actors are discernibly sufficient. But Pasang Krus as a whole is pretty much an addition to the indie film’s bandwagon of pretentiously self-proclaimed masterpieces.

Rosanna Roces plays the role of Herminia, a poor mother whose fate brings her to unfathomable misery. Her husband got killed fifteen years ago. Her eldest son and her only daughter got lost along the way when they try to escape from the murderers. Presently, two of her sons have become criminals; one is a murderer (Christian Burke) and the other a kidnapper (Ketchup Eusebio). The other one played by Beejay Morales is a teenager who is always with Herminia in times of despair. She hopes to see two of her lost children but is stacked-up with more gruesome events.

The intentions are there and yet I could not convince myself that it deserves the praise. I have seen the story unfold and I could not imagine some illlogical things that are happening in Herminia’s life. I could forgive that along the way two of her children got lost. But to have two criminal sons doesn't hold up to the film’s depiction of a mother who only wants the best of her children. How did she nurture them? The way she acts does not correspond to the outcome of her children’s outlook in life.

But don’t fret; Roces gave her best to the performance. There is the infamous crucifixion scene which she had done in actuality. I could only blame the direction on parts wherein Roces did not give the intended meaning to some scenes. She could be the sole reason that this film is watchable. Morales also gave a decent performance unlike the other actors in this film. Eusebio for example did not adequately portray the character with the correct tone. His facial muscles tweak every time he shells out discontent. The acting could have been guided more.

I have seen Tan’s body of work in the past and it suffers the same mistakes. It could have been the taste the filmmaker has in mind and it just underscores the indie films’ supposition that it has more artistic panache than any mainstream film could offer. Even the social commentaries and poverty issues layered therein do not even uplift the status of the film to film artistry. Its usage has no merits in terms of making the film more engaging. It just offers something that has been achieved decades ago by our most prolific filmmakers. But now, it is getting more boring and hollow.

Hopefully the films slated for this year will offer something that could gain interest to the audience whether works are intended for a more commercial market or for the more intelligible artistic works. As for Pasang Krus, it just made its way for the audience to feel the title of the film in an unappealing gesture. Bit by bit it has promise, but once it is knitted together, it looks an unlovely piece of work crafted without any hint of creative advantage.

Charlie Koon's Rating:


thebaklareview said...

napanood ko na. ang cute ng cast. :)

Anonymous said...

hoy bakla review paki ko nman hahaha

Anonymous said...

nakakainis c baklareview!! hahaha

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