#Cinemalaya2022 Reviews: ‘Retirada,’ ‘Blue Room,’ ‘The Baseball Player’

Directed by Milo Alto-Paz, Cynthia Cruz-Paz

It’s a straightforward film carried by the performance of veteran actress Peewee O’Hara. Retirada is a decent debut movie for filmmakers Milto Alto-Paz and Cynthia Cruz-Paz.

It’s an interesting and at times interesting look at how the emptiness of a person can go to lengths even neglect the people they love, just to fill that emptiness with even the most outrageous activity such as playing bingo.

It’s a reflection of how we forget the things that matter the most because of what we think will benefit even our loved ones, even with good conscience. Retirada may feel basic but there’s something about it that’s worth seeing.

Directed by Ma-An Asuncion Dagnalan

The film really said f*ck the police and f*ck China. Blue Room can easily win the hearts and interests of the audience not just because of its star Elijah Canlas, Harvey Bautista, JK Labajo, and its terrific ensemble, but also because of how relevant and powerful its message is.

Blue Room is a well-crafted piece that has solid acting, technicals, and story. It’s entertaining from start to finish but the story has so many layers as to tackling human rights, corruption, trust issues between friendship, drugs, and even smart shaming.

It’s also a coming-of-age film, but the message of the film is universal. Blue Room is an easy recommendation for this year’s Cinemalaya film festival.

Directed by Carlo Obispo

Stories about kids are somewhat always hopeful but The Baseball Player challenges that statement.

What if you’re next in line to protect your people? Will you choose what you’re passionate about or will you give up your freedom to choose to fight for your people? Carlo Obispo is clear in what his film’s message is: the struggles of children in war.

The film is quite short. I do think the film can tackle the themes it wants to discuss longer and deeper. But what’s presented in the film is enough to show how hope can be taken away because of things that are beyond a child’s control. And what’s presented is a bittersweet story of two lost children who found family with each other.

Watch happenings from the gala premieres of Retirada, Blue Room and The Baseball Player below:

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