MOVIE REVIEWS: Sinag Maynila Film Festival 2016 Entries

Posters Dyamper

DYAMPER by Mes De Guzman

Dyamper tries to find its rhythm through its main character, Timoy played by Alchirs Galura, it loses its beat halfway through the film. Though it has interesting plot lines and the ending sort of makes the film a good idea to start a franchise, its poor narrative especially its unnecessary backstory makes everything lame.

Performances were decent though, especially Timothy Mabalot who plays Poknat. The thing about the film really is its attempt to make something out of its character’s history using a flashback which is actually unnecessary, even Liza Diño’s character doesn’t seem to be that important, whether you put her character there or not, the film will still be the same.

Posters Expressway

EXPRESSWAY by Ato Bautista

You can compare the film to Erik Matti’s On The Job, not on the quality though. While Expressway may have some bold choices for its storylines, it suffers with the same problem with Dyamper, having a lame backstory. Having the need to have a twist in the story, its twist or explanation isn’t really a good one. You don’t give an explanation to an action done from 20 or more years, because things can still change within that span of time and it’s as ridiculous as its R-13 rating.

The film spends most of its time with the two main actors discussing. While some of it are interesting and make the narrative move forward, most of it are just dull empty stories. Aljur Abrenica may have something to show here, although at times he looks awkward in his acting. Alvin Anson sure knows his character, thus winning the best actor award isn’t actually surprising.

Posters Lila

LILA by Gino M. Santos

While Lila is ridiculously stupid, the film was decently made. When you found a diary that has a very suspicious events in it where it involves where you live and who you live with, you finish reading it as soon as possible. But that can’t happen because Lila will probably only be 20 minutes long and won’t be suspenseful at all.

It could’ve worked if it was well-thought of but you get something so foolish that a death in the end is really not surprising. The actors were perfect though, Janine Gutierrez has that innocent look that is ideal for the role. It’s not the most fun or horrifying movie out there but director Gino M. Santos was able to make its climax quite suspenseful even if things are laughable because of its characters stupidity.

It can remind you of those Hollywood slasher films that stars beautiful and attractive people that one by one dies because they’re so stupid their death is actually anticipated in the story. It could be fun for some but its idiotic choices will make your head shake.

Posters MRS

MRS. by Adolfo Boringa Alix, Jr.

Pleasantly presented, MRS. has some interesting stories to offer but the one it tackled isn’t as strong as the other. Elizabeth Oropesa is the star of Sinag Maynila, she portrays her role effectively as the main missis of the film. However, the movie could’ve worked better as a dark comedy. Its characters are very Filipino that you can’t help but wonder what if the main plot is different, one that is also introduced in the film.

But the film is decently made and isn’t made too complicated that it doesn’t try to be something more than what it is, a family drama.

Posters TPO

T.P.O. (Temporary Protection Order) by Joselito Altarejos

While T.P.O. may have a problem with its non-linear narrative and some of its long shots are unnecessary, you can see a solid story behind all of these. It’s a remarkable feat to have a story about domestic violence but not actually showing much of it. But focusing  on the effects on the characters and having an acceptable reason to why it is happening.

It’s subtle but also clear on its message. A reality check on the effects or rather horrors of domestic violence. The story is as strong as its theme, it doesn’t try to be a dramatic film but the story itself gives the audience something deeply compelling.

The 2nd Sinag Maynila Film Festival will run from April 21 to 26, 2016 at SM Cinema Megamall, Aura Premier, North EDSA, Mall of Asia and Manila.
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