#Cinemalaya2018 Reviews: “ML,” “School Service”

ML – MARTIAL LAW (2018) by Benedict Mique

If you’re a fan of Eli Roth or other bloody and other visually barbaric movies, this has got to be the movie you should see at the Cinemalaya Film Festival. ML, as the director said during the gala night, presented the gruesome tortures that have been done during one of the darkest days of our country. The film gets light on the story, a college student does his research on Martial Law on gets more than what he bargained for.

It gets uncomfortable, the torture scenes are almost unbearable. But the film wants to send a message – that what you’re seeing actually happened. Not only to those who are against the government those days but also to people who are just mistakenly identified as communists or activists. ML is a wake up call to those who thought Martial Law is the golden age of the Philippines, that everything is just a propaganda. But the thing is, whether it is a propaganda or not, it happened. Benedict Mique held us on the edge of our seat for creating something intense.

SCHOOL SERVICE (2018) by Louie Ignacio

For all the poverty movies that have come out in the Philippines, School Service feels like it has nothing new to offer. It stems from the same storyline, foul-mouthed beggars, prostitution and other 3rd world country dilemmas on the side. But what makes School Service worth seeing is the performances of its actors.

Aiai delas Alas, Joel Lamangan, Therese Malvar, Celine Juan and Kenken Nuyad performances were raw, gripping and engaging. These actors look and feel like real-life beggars, real-life con artists, and that’s what School Service offers the best.


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