It’s not for the faint of heart. You may call Benedict Mique’s Cinemalaya 2018 hit ML a challenge for its disturbing choices of how to present what really happened during Martial Law to the youth today.
The idea came when director Benedict Mique heard his niece talk about Martial Law like it was an event that was blown out of proportion for some. That her views made him feel like she didn’t care of what was done as long as it didn’t affect her. Then, the inspiration from the character of Mr. Eddie Garcia was someone he sees in their village – an mysterious old man who looks intense all the time.
It’s basically taking the nightmares the Martial Law era has done to those who were unfortunate to be alive and fighting for their country that time.
But the film can also not be seen as a politically-driven film. It’s a suspense thriller from the likes of Eli Roth’s films. The gore, the tension and sometimes, the humor.
Benedict Mique’s ML is as entertaining as it is unsettling. Director Mique together with Mr. Eddie Garcia, Tony Labrusca, Lianne Valentin and Henz Villaraiz did something not usual in Philippine cinema. Yes, there have been horror films that have gone gory but this is something different. Something a fan of suspense thrillers and torture films would love.
“ML” opens in Philippine cinemas nationwide November 7, distributed by Solar Pictures. Rated R-16 without cuts by the MTRCB.