Glamour Card


Jun Lana’s first attempt in the mainstream arena in the horror film Mag-ingat ka sa... Kulam has been derided in my review. In his new film Tarot, I could now feel that he has now returned in his better form. Not as a faerie that would cast magical spells that play with our senses on the supernatural aspects of our society but as a real fabulist. After all, it is his passion and the typewriter back then could be his supernatural tool into the invention of his stories. Tarot could be a little tricky with its plot and stiff twists; yet it still deserves to be seen.

The lady Gambit of the hour is played by a reel and real enchantress, Marian Rivera. She plays the dazzling Cara who has a tragic and mystifying past. The film starts with a flashback when Mount Pinatubo erupted and the young and naïve Cara has foreseen this in the tarot cards of her grandmother played by the legendary Gloria Romero. On New Year’s Eve, Cara feels she is being called by the whispery cards. As she lays it down, she manifests the knowledge that tragic events will happen.

The film is about fortunetelling. Ironically, the film cancels out the word fortune, and speaks. A few months back, I had my first tarot card reading session given by a lady who looks quite typical for her eerie profession. She introduces her craft more as psychotherapy. She prohibits questions that will be regarding health and death. I think it’s quite disreputable for her to tackle those things so it is really something to avoid. I am astounded that two films I have recently seen have tackled the misfortune. The other film is
Ang Manghuhula by Paolo Herras. I could have bashed both films for their irregularities and being quite negligent with the repercussions it could get across to the viewers. But I assure you, both films have squeezed in other elements to make them realistic, imaginative and entertaining.

Years have passed; Cara decides to climb a mountain with his fiancé Miguel played by Dennis Trillo. They are lost in the forest side of the mountain and decide to stay in a cave for the night. When Cara wakes up, Miguel is nowhere to be found. Weeks have passed; there is no news of Miguel. Cara decides to get hold of the tarot cards of her grandmother to know where he is.

Cara seems to be highly intuitive with the things around her and this could be a great benefit on her part. I think, even without the tarot cards, you could see in her dazzling eyes the wisdom she has manifested. I think she might do a better acting foray in the horror genre like the role as Nieves in the Shake Rattle and Roll X than flaunting her comedic prowess in Desperadas 2 and even a hysterical drama stint in
One True Love. But in Tarot, she has proven again that she shines. This could be a genre she is at home with and has saturated all the excesses of the melodramatic acting.

Tarot could be your next DVD purchase and could be relished for its worth especially if you crave for audience-oriented horror thrills. This film has been sprinkled with conflicts and twists, similiar to your well-liked flavored popcorn. But sometimes flavored writing needs some buffing up and polishing despite a contentment whether between the filmmaker and the studio or with the filmmaker himself. Still, it is every man to his taste. But my intuition says, Jun Lana’s writing is in best form in Sa Pusod ng Dagat by Marilou Diaz-Abaya.

Charlie Koon's Rating:

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