Drowned in Cholesterol

Funny Bread?

I am quite sure that Litsonero is a film that drowns in its own grease. The grease is the filmmaker whose prime purpose is to indulge himself in his pledge that this type of film would be really remarkable. If there is a time wherein eating is just for the sake of eating, this is the best film that could lead to that. Like food that has no flavor, not even a pinch of pepper, Litsonero bored me to death.

Since the film is talking about food, we could easily relate even with our own dining experience. Imagine a time wherein you are so hungry. Hence, you will munch unto anything that looks edible. The only food offered is your grandmother’s bland porridge with flavorless crackers on the side. This is the entire taste of the film. Well, its still food. But we need to acknowledge that the food is not great and has no taste. It even counters the conflict of the film in terms of cuisine ingenuity.

Fidel (Paolo Contis) is a fashionable and hunky chef who works in Macau. He receives a letter from his grumpy and distressing mother Viring (Maricel Laxa) forcing him to go back in the province for the death anniversary of his father. He was convinced and soon arrives in the province. One night, they had the usual beer drinking with his whiny uncle Pinoy (Michael de Mesa). Pinoy belittles Fidel’s cooking abilities to the extent wherein they had a bet that Fidel would not be able to cook the demanding and extremely mouth-watering lechon. Fidel takes the bet with a consequence that if he loses, he will not go back to Macau and be an assistant in Pinoy’s bakery.

Litsonero is not all stale. Lore Reyes infused some romantic spices to this nearly bland film. Fidel is rearing to win the bet and convinces Mang Carding (Jun Urbano), a semi-retired litsonero expert, to train him in the cooking of the lechon. Through his apprenticeship, he had a glimpse of the shy and poised daughter Carmen, (Karylle) which will be his love interest along the story. Their love chemistry is quite engaging. They hang-out in the farm and lie on the grass for their rendezvous. Fidel has a sophisticated approach towards food. He is more westernized just like the sight of champagne, fruits and bread.

Mother and son interactions are also tackled in the film. Thoughts could be more pondered with the obligations of sons to their parents. They are somewhat touching this topic but backs off. Fidel could have slated his points but Viring retorts in the cliché way of dealing with this deep thoughts. Isn’t she also a daughter? They are nearly synthesizing some important thoughts; they could have expounded for better insights. Tiyo Pinoy is the typical Filipino who is impulsive, cynical and has claustrophobic views of living life in general. And mind you, he could get away with everything with the use of sneer humor.

Litsonero is too self-indulgent. You might like it just like eating for the sake of living. But the art of food has come a long way. There are even shallow sentiments that have been tackled without too much significance to make the story look well-developed. It remains in between two poles; middle is the sign of tastelessness. Anyway, they appear to have enjoyed making the film. Going back to the main objective of Sine Direk, this is to show their artistic side without dwelling much on the profit and all for a good cause (charity event). I think by now they know that the film itself lacks the artistic worth they ought to really have. If they just want to improve, a little pump up could be done as this film looks stale.

Charlie Koon's Rating:

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