DUKOT (2016) Review
Directed by Paul Soriano
We often have romantic comedies and horror films in Philippine cinemas, we only see different genres or experimental films on independent film festivals. Dukot came as a surprise, not just because it’s something different from the usual genres we see in cinemas but also because it is being released by a mainstream production company. Not that Star Cinema doesn’t support indie films, they have their own film festival which is the Cinema One.
Getting back to the film, Dukot doesn’t look and feel like your typical Filipino film. The shots are beautiful and well-thought of that you feel like you’re watching something that is planned and made for months. Plus, the editing is flawless, everything from start to finish is clean and put together perfectly.
Enrique Gil, who mostly does drama or romantic comedy plays the role of Carlo, the youngest of two and only son of a rich family. He and his sibling Cathy (Shaina Magdayao) are having doubts of their wealth after their father (Ricky Davao), a Customs official who is accused of having shady dealings. But everything went more serious when a group of robbers kidnapped Carlo.
The contrast in Dukot is there, the rich and the poor. But it is thinly-written, resulting the lack of juice in its story. But they try to compensate that with fast-paced storytelling, beautiful cinematography and put on some family drama and tension here and there. Although everything did look impressive, it wasn’t enough. You don’t get to embrace the drama within the family both in Carlo’s and from the kidnappers’ story wholly. Only the surface was scratched there, hints aren’t enough to feel the emotional journey of its characters.
It is something to see, the film. It manages to give something new to the audience even though it’s quite predictable. Enrique Gil is effective in his role, even though he mostly does romantic comedy films and his character lacks more connection to the others, he gives a satisfying performance. But Ricky Davao will always impress in everything he does, you can never go wrong with Ricky Davao. And Christopher De Leon does something new for years, that even though his character doesn’t quite do that much, you get to feel his redemption at the end of the story.
Dukot might not be as thrilling or as meaty as the themes it tackles, but it is a well-made suspense thriller that doesn’t come often in Philippine cinemas. It lacks power in its narrative even though it hints some every now and then, but the shots are tastefully done and the story is decent enough that you get to feel the tense of the situation and what the characters are going through emotionally. Well, some of it.
4 OUT OF 5 STARS
“Dukot” is now showing in Philippine cinemas from TEN17p and Star Cinema. Rated R-13 by the MTRCB.