PATINTERO: ANG ALAMAT NI MENG PATALO (2016) Review
Directed by Mihk Vergara
We don’t usually see family movies centered on children in Philippine cinemas, especially in mainstream cinema, but here, thanks to QCinema and TBA, Mihk Vergara got the chance to make a tribute to what Pinoy childhood was, Patintero: Ang Alamat ni Meng Patalo.
“May laro! May laro!” screams one excited young fella, spreading the news of a challenge, a game. Patintero: Ang Alamat ni Meng Patalo doesn’t merely change the game in filmmaking, but what it does is put back the genuine fun and heart in Filipino films that is targeted for the whole family.
In the film, Meng is always the “patalo” or loser when it comes to playing “Patintero,” that’s why she usually gets picked last when a game starts. Though bullied by her schoolmates and the friends of her brother, Meng doesn’t have a loser heart. She keeps on training and playing, determined to be the best along with her friends. Through Patintero, she falls and rises and learns lessons about life, family and friendship in a traditional way of how Filipinos used to grow up.
There’s nothing new to its story, or how it was told (the anime-like action sequences have been done with Scott Pilgrim Vs The World), but how we see the world through Meng, through the challenges of a young girl trying to be good at something, trying to prove that she can be better at something she practices, something she prepares for, now, that’s the story of each and everyone. We all go through that more than we could remember, we could identify ourselves in Meng, which makes Patintero: Ang Alamat ni Meng Patalo special.
There might have been RPG: Metanoia, the first Filipino 3D film but in here, we get to see what Philippine cinema is missing for years, a film that focuses on the courage and determination of the young spirited Filipino. Where we live in the generation of video games and cellphone games, Patintero: Ang Alamat ni Meng Patalo reminds us that the best way to make friends is thru physical games. And that family and friendship can also be developed through fun and challenging games, that the villain of our story is ourselves and we can defeat it with the help of the ones who cares for us.
3 .5 OUT OF 5 STARS
“Patintero: Ang Alamat ni Meng Patalo” is now showing at select cinemas nationwide from TBA. Rated G by the MTRCB.