1.28.2010

Mundane Magic

Hide and Seek

Bala bala: Maniwala ka is about the mysteries happening in the province. of Batangas. It soon happens upon the arrival of a city veterinarian named Frederick (Micah Munoz). He was summoned by the village officials in order to cure the disease of their livestock. He is befriended by a mute albeit adorable boy named Amiel (Rold Marn Salamat). Soon enough, Frederick is asked to cure a sick child without him knowing that Amiel is the one who performs the miraculous healing. The panicky Frederick decides to leave the place but is thwarted by Amiel who starts to reveal a plan that will soon take place.

After watching Bala bala: Maniwala ka, Jao Mapa has now a collection of performances that adds damage to his skill as an actor. He plays as a supporting character in the film as a vagrant, combining it with his annoying effeminate character in Dreamguyz plus his role as an anti-porn delusional politician in 69 ½ (although the film as a whole is much better than his actual efforts) and we will have the incineration of mankind. Anyway, the film itself is not the worse that Philippine Cinema has produced. Melvin Brito’s debut semi-soft porn film Sumpa might be the one in the lead on that regard. It is the only one that has made its way to be shown in the sacrosanct theaters of our country. Holy water might help cleanse the SM management’s overall lackluster taste and inconsistencies.

So after watching the film, what did it make me feel? Not to know what to do about it? Magic realism is a literary genre that has been here for years thanks to Saramago and Murakami to name a few that lifted its status and made its way to be accessible. Michel Gondry (The Science of Sleep), Spike Jonze (Adaptation) and Fernando Meirelles (Blindness) are a few in the film arena who have explored the genre and their local counterparts like Paolo Herras (Ang Manghuhula) and Alvin Yapan (Ang Panggagahasa kay Fe) to cite a few. I think the problem with the film was its adaptation. You will notice the ambiguities it has that are mostly present in novels, a solid proof that it is better written. Visually it could entice but what is the point of roaming for its peculiar propositions? Soon enough, it will take its toll in the end.

I did not expect the film to be somewhat Disney-like having all those fireworks and transformations. But it did, prompting me to construe what magic realism bestowed to us. Haven’t they forgotten to make an elegant horse-carriage out of pumpkin? I may be hypothecating but I think it is more of a puff out of fantasy. Even Frederick seems to have a Jiminy Cricket by his side, tattling without anyone on sight. But at least he did not toss himself during his stay in the hut. It would be creepy having a mass gathering of fireflies in his pecker. Remedy might come from Amiel who was also the saving grace of the film.

Even if it is not true, the point of it is to be more open to what they have offered. It is the downside of magic realism so if it is not written, they have to be extra cautious for people not to be baffled. Nonetheless, Brito has constrained his self indulgences and obliterates from his patchy soft-porn earlier flick. It is indeed a process. A realistic process and you cannot be jaded even for a minute to make it look credible for its magic and cohesive for its story.
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Charlie Koon's Rating:

1 comment:

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