Tasteless Revival


Wanted: Border is about the convoluted idiosyncrasies of a pathetic cannibal which also happens to be the exotic excesses of film experimentation. Engrossing oneself to sheer lunacy and the use of distorted irony could be a magnet for the die-hard art film enthusiasts. Ray Gibraltar’s experimental feature as I see it is sheer redundancy of the merits of earlier experimentations which is quite insipid. When we deal with experimentations, it must offer something new to our eyes. I would say that Wanted: Border is more likely a bluff.

Actually, the initial ten seconds had me hooked for its tempting simmery vibe that it dissipates from a pot of bizarre ideas. But before the aroma sets into my nostrils, the promise it has evaporates rapidly. The theater started to be enshrouded by the unwanted pollution caused by the film. I seem to feel that the film has a mask or a veil that conceals whatever they wanted to say. Nonetheless, it will be favored by those whose tongues are pierced with ecstatic fondness for more jadedness.

The film is about Sepang (Rosanna Roces) a religious old lady running a kansi eatery in a little town in Ilo-ilo. The moment she shows up on screen, I could sense something is wrong with her. She speaks in outright blasphemy, uttering one by one the seven last words of Christ. Along the course of the story, the film tries to patchily weave in her past. Townsfolk believe and affiliate her to a family of ghouls. And so she made their belief come to life.

In no order, we get to be involved with other characters in the film, much likely stereotypes. There is this fat lady who eats like there is no tomorrow but runs every now and then in the course of the film – it’s the twist of the story. The other two are the sexually abused girl by her bastard step-father and a guy who excuses himself in being called a drug addict because it’s an artist way of life. You will also see a bunch of feline friends of Sepang lingering in the dirty pantry of the cafeteria. Once you have seen that dreadful kitchen, your way of eating might transgress to the ilk of bulimic sufferers. So the bored cats are her only known companions. Making a flute out of cat’s souls could be more fascinating just like in the novel Kafka on the Shore. But the soulless Sepang obliquely kills humans instead not the cats - barbarian style. Perhaps the film might get a nod from the uncircumcised and vegetarians.

Other films of the same flock have a similar technique. It tries to jumble the scenes necessitating itself as the new benchmark in filmmaking. At least they have Roces who stars as the disastrous and unpredictable Sepang. Medea could get pissed-off as her reign as the sole queen of danger is at stake. The concern I have with independent films is to progress the craft. A good experiment needs neither tricks nor embellishments. They have a discerning view of our society so why not employ it as well in making a film that is worthy of our applause. Film simply needs to move on from the mistakes of the past.

Charlie Koon's Rating:


sanriel said...

I agree with you on this one. I was underwhelmed when I saw this during the Cinema One Originals run. Particularly with the supporting characters - trying so hard to look bizarre, but instead falling in the deep trap of triteness. Good thing, I saw Mendoza's Lola after.

Charlie Koon said...

its a self-indulgent film... moderation is the cure. :)

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