Just a Coincidence?

Race to the finish line

Padyak is not a very bad film nor is it very a good film either. What you will expect from Padyak is a different film narrative. The film is derived from a Palanca Award winning literary piece; therefore it explicates the peculiarity of the story structure. The good side of encrusting the film with epigrammatic interconnected stories makes the entire film experience stimulating. But there is also a fallback. The variety of stories offered by the film is too lengthy. It demulsifies the idea they had in mind and in effect, the crust of the story becomes loose. This creates a stigma to the audience that once they are beginning to be cranky, they detach their selves to the possible ‘feel’ for the film.

Noel (Jay Aquitania) is a pedicab driver that wishes to study with the help of his earnings and the love and support of his mother Pacita (Irma Adlawan). One day, he helped a customer named Helga (Katherine Luna) with her groceries up to her condominium unit. They have a chat about anything under the sun. Soon enough, Noel gets information that Helga fell from the building. Noel seems to have been struck with the awareness that life could end and contemplates the meaning of his own existence.

The film has other meatier stories within it and there is a hint that it is related to Noel’s life: A bloody ménage-a-trios affair of a drug addict (Rita Avila) and her younger lover (Arnold Reyes) who is in love with the maid (Mercedes Cabral), a somewhat silly children’s cooking segment where Angel Jacob (reprising her role as a cook?) has a semi-dysfunctional family, and a schizophrenic geeky wanker played by Baron Geisler.

Padyak lingers towards the genre existentialist film, with a probable background of social realist pragmatism. There are insights on Noel’s life who he thinks his way of life could not be substantiated to have meaning but rather opts to reflect on the shortcomings it has given to him. To justify his importance, the writer concocts unfamiliar people that might coincide to the aim of this parable.

I have no qualms with how Aquitania has freshened up the character. He gives rawness and excitement to this ordinary guy. I am also amazed with the risks made by Avila. She deserves to be applauded for her uncanny portrayal of a sadistic junkie. Although Geisler gives out an invigorating yet campy portrayal of a person suffering from dual personality, the attitude is there but the direction could have been more polished.

As the story progresses, I sensed something could have been wrong with the film. There is a need to reassess the story treatment. The pacing is just slow and downright sprawling. The way the scenes unfold might have been composed for non-linearity’s sake but as an audience, there could be more ways to make it cohesive (not on a technical way of writing) but to make a right kind of flavor to the interrelated scenarios. There are films that has done multi-layer stories and it must decide from the very beginning what they really wanted to point further.

At the end of the film, we are reminded that our existence makes this world a better place. We are unaware of this as we human beings are living our own lives. Seeing the world turn makes it meaningful and if ever there are doubts, we begin to see the gray side of coincidence. But this ordinary guy seems innocent to skeptics and philosophers. Doing what is right is natural to human behavior. Although there are numerous mishaps within the film, Padyak has the persona of a human full of flaws. It might interest viewers if it could have been made with a more careful rendition.

Charlie Koon's Rating:

No comments:

Related Posts with Thumbnails