Lucky Bastard

Are my eyes big?

Pitik Bulag (Blind Luck) is a film by Gil Portes, the helmer of the wholesome and socio-political film Mga Munting Tinig (Small Voices). The only aspect of the film that could be a trademark of Portes is its technicality. It is almost mostly dull, could be best described as a stagnant pond infested by dengue plagued mosquitoes. But the story is quite interesting, well-maneuvered and has freaking logic. If I would gauge a film’s superiority choosing from the writing and style, I would definitely go with the writing. It is the hardest of all in film creation. But don’t get me misquoted for this. Pitik Bulag is just quite efficient and adhered to its genre without loosing its common sense.

Angelo works as an extra in film productions. He idolizes Fernando Poe Jr. like a mentor. He believes that he will be a good action star someday. This self-promise convinced him that he will go far and thus he marries his girlfriend (Paloma). Years have passed, they still live in a bungalow house and Angelo has no stable job. His wife works as a ticket clerk in one of the dilapidated movie houses in Carriedo, Manila. One day, Angelo travels to a friend’s house to borrow money. But in a surprising twist of fate, he was almost rundown by two fast vehicles and discovers a loot bag full of money that fell from the owner type jeepney. Shaken by the incident, he transfers all the money into his bag and runs off, leaving his wallet behind as a clue to his identity for the robbers to track down.

The screenplay by Eric Ramos is said to be inspired by a bank robbery incident that happened recently. It’s good that the inspiration they got has been pumped-up with a well concocted narrative. The incidents happening to Marco and the succeeding chases have logic and the stretch it made to the inspiration does not deliberately look half-baked. This is the problem with most films that gets inspiration from real-life. They just stop from that inspiration without compounding on the story with story devices. The craft of writing will always be admired as this is the foundation of any movie making. Writing for films is way too different with literary writing. It is already established and what the filmmaker can do is to play with it.

Portes previous films are unyieldingly wholesome; he could have explored the darker arena of humanity. Sex will always be relevant but that is not the entire point of the film and the film is not in anyway pornographic. The human condition in this film is translated just like how other films represent our country. Angelo happens to get a big amount of money and does what his idol would do. Of course not with the guidance of his leading lady which is his wife. They provide some amount to the families of the victims of the bank robbery shoot-out; obviously we could not trust our police. The gangs of bank robbers relayed in the film have police backups. That could be quite feverish since we see two sides of the authority. The hope we get is with another police inspector who is quite smart to know the misrepresentations and obscure principles of police officers.

True to its genre, Pitik Bulag does not end well. But the story has woven every bit of its inspiration to a good form without questioning the logic of the entire narrative. Angelo’s wife is the hope for redemption of the film. As long as you do well, you will be admired. In Angelo’s lifetime, it is true what his wife told us about him. He could have not been a film hero like Flavio in Ang Panday, in real life; he is the superhero. Portes did not give us an artistic approach or the vigorous inclination some filmmakers have in terms of being a technician. But the story approach he has made in Pitik Bulag deserves its merits.

Charlie Koon's Rating:

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