What a Journey

Where's my uniform?

This is the first film that I have seen and the only one that required a second viewing (since its first screening had a technical problem). I am a bit compulsive in not deviating from a well-planned schedule. So I have to endure the technological malfunction and the queasy visuals. I was relieved after my second screening for the reason that despite the irrevocable film crash that happened on its first screening, my assessment of the film is much higher for improved visual experience.

Colorum is about Simon (Alfred Vargas), a young cop who inadvertently meets an ex-convict named Pedro (Lou Veloso) while driving his illegal FX taxi along the metropolis. Upon reaching the end route, Pedro still could not direct him to the Oasis Bus Liner. Simon courteously offers to bring him to the terminal. While they are arguing and looking for signs, Simon accidentally hit a man on the street. Fear of getting busted with his illegal taxi, he locked Pedro as advised by his godfather (Archie Adamos) and embarked on a road trip to Visayas to avoid probable incarceration.

So from that premise alone, we are now wary to avoid misfortune. If Simon could have known from the start that Pedro was an ex-convict, he could have made a pass. Before they meet, it was revealed that Pedro is looking for his only son after thirty years of being in prison. He tried to re-establish his relationship but his son obviously stands firm to cut the ties. The interesting feature in Pedro is that he was played by the pleasing and talented comic actor Lou Veloso. If not for him, I would not even care for the character. Since Veloso is the one playing it, the character of Simon could not resist but help. I would certainly do the same.

Alfred Vargas is a good choice for the role and he played the character without superfluities that most mainstream actors are supposedly known. In here, he was still charming and his approach is very minimalist. His competence as an actor is tested upon his pairing with Veloso. The younger-senior combination swiftly coheres upon the progression of the story. It is a good duo even when there are characters that interfere, both actors shine all throughout. Some might be indifferent with the intervention of minor characters; the failed writer, a teenage girl who is seeking for an abortion and a sham religious preacher. But the movie is most likely in the road trip genre and they have a destination. The director also used situational story devices to enhance the journey by creating blocks, detours and even stopovers. The characters themselves are mere situational devices used to show how a created tandem would react in different social contexts. The essence of its entirety is that it will have logic. Colorum has simple aims with the situations they have presented but the add-ons made the film more convincing and engaging.

This is Jon Steffan Ballesteros first venture into film directing. He wrote it together with fellow screenwriters Diana Malahay (Baby Angelo) and Jerry Gracio (Astig, Imoral). Colorum has also its faults. First, I remember one sequence where Pedro’s character in spite of being a sinner and an ex-criminal, he lectures way too much. This is where the saying less is more could have been applied. Anyway, this could be minor but could really make a little or considerable difference. Hopefully, the promise they have shown here will still improve for their future films. Stories are the important element in films. Just like in Colorum, some lessons are learned the harder way.
Charlie Koon's Rating:


Anonymous said...

correction: jon steffan and jobin are one and the same person. hehe. also, this is not his first venture into film directing. he actually won the ishmael bernal award for young cinema in cinemanila back in 2006 (not sure about the year). however, this is his first feature.

colorum is one of my cinemalaya favorites! i love lou veloso. and not bad for alfred vargas. i didn't think he'd be able to measure up to veloso's craft and experience, but he wasn't bad. not bad at all.

Charlie Koon said...

really? when i first checked IMDB they are just the same person. but i changed it when i read some details of colorum in facebook - that jobin is his brother. based on IMDB again, it is his first feature film.

their tandem worked so well in this film. i was surprised with alfred's acting... i think the awards are not credible.

Anonymous said...

yup. it is his first feature. but he's been directing for quite a while.

the reason why i know jon steffan and jobin are one and the same is because he was senior member of our org in UP. so i know his full name (down to his middle name) coz we were made memorize this. hehe. pero masaya din kainuman si jobin. :)

and yes, i thought alfred should have been in the lead actor category, and lou veloso in the supporting. but i think with how everything unraveled, many people think it was veloso's vehicle because everything revolved around him and changed because of him. kaya siguro naging lead siya. :)

Charlie Koon said...

hmmm.. will do revisions later. thanks..

but is it lou's character who entered in the life of Simon (Alfred)? anyhow, they are both good..

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