Embellish it with Humor

Oh my effin God!
Last Supper No. 3 is definitely one of the crowd-pullers of this year’s Cinemalaya Film Festival. It has a real plum to begin with due to the nature of its material. It is a comedy about our judicial system, a flawed one as a matter of fact. The film executes it well without being too harsh in its predilections. The writer/director Veronica Velasco with co-writer Jinky Laurel has made a film that could be an eye-opener with some tummy-tickling on the side.

Wilson Nañawa (Joey Paras) is an assistant production designer who has a new project in hand. He has to make an authentic lower to middle class look for a dining room. It is a commercial for a mouth-watering corned beef. He is tasked to look for a last supper that will be used as a prop with the help of his assistant Andoy (JM de Guzman). They got three last suppers but on the day of the shooting, the third one has gone missing.

Velasco certainly improved in terms of technical execution compared to the well-acted and well written film Maling Akala which she also co-directed together with Pablo Biglang-awa. She is also well-rounded since the previous film is a drama and now she tries her hand in the comedy genre. The craftsmanship did improve since Maling Akala. I remember stating that there are scenes that are too repetitive. Last Supper No. 3 is well paced; the scenes are more compact and coherent. That is very vital in comedies since the execution itself has to be swift and upfront.

Problems arise when Gareth (Jojit Lorenzo) asks for a big amount for the lost Last Supper. After a meeting with the barangay officials, things did not end well when Andoy defends himself from being attacked by Gareth. In effect, Gareth immediately files a case for Estafa and Physical Injury against the two. Then the riotous adventures of Wilson begin with further pleasantry on its way.

The comedy could be a mixture of farce and social satire. It is also distressing to think that our very own mishaps could be of great use to comedic narratives. The humor that it has gotten into is not entirely offensive if it has the pretense to mock our own judicial system. The problem is it is flawed to a degree and is downright slow. Classic lines are installed in court cases with numerous references to audacious lawyers, dramatic testimonies and even common jargons that could also be a form of parody.

I wonder what the story could have become if it was more focused on Andoy’s character. Certainly it would be totally unexciting. The openly gay character of Wilson did help with its aim to amplify a simple occurrence. The quirkiness of his character pays a big tribute to make the film funnier. The executions have no intention to make use of slapstick so the acting approach is more realistic. I think what is funny in our generation has changed. Today, audiences love wit and humor, especially for intelligent viewers who think that fun is a serious matter that affirms their own substance. I am not complaining and I am positive about the film. We really are good in comedies. My only complain is that the audience we have right now certainly has a tainted understanding of the true value of comedies. The best part is there are directors like Veronica Velasco who could mock on something and we could easily laugh about it without pretensions.
Charlie Koon's Rating:


Anonymous said...

A tighter edit could make this film much much better. It felt like an 80's film because of it's pacing.

Great acting.

It's not a "great" film and had Mangatyanan been executed better, it could have been the best film of the lot.


Charlie Koon said...

lately, they are now letting dark comedies win the best film category. same as last year's Jay directed by Francis Xavier Pasion.

although i like the film, i still sense something is missing in Last Supper No. 3. not really the editing i could blame since velasco has greatly improved in here since Maling Akala. its a certain ingredient in comedies that makes it standout from the rest. i would know if a film has it.

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