I’ve long complained about how Filipino films, those that have grand ambitions, always have to be about poverty and sex, or have a twist that only bewilder you in the end. I couldn’t understand why we can’t make a “simple” film that works.
Rosario has accomplished what I consider a feat for Philippines cinema.
|Laudable ensemble performance particularly from Isabel Oli, Sid Lucero and Jennylyn Mercado
Photo: Rosario the Movie on Facebook
The plot is simple and I would rather not summarize it here because that would involve the use of merely three sentences and I wouldn’t like to ruin the experience for anyone. In that respect, I felt that the material was stretched and kudos to the writer and director for not boring me despite the fact. I got too engrossed by the production value, and for someone who doesn’t know his Filipino history well (particularly that point after the Spanish occupation), it was a treat to have seen what life was like for the Filipino rich during that period.
At the same time, I felt that opportunities were missed: since the story was slim, the film could’ve have broaden its scope to include a historical context although I do understand that the film’s objective might have really just been to tell Rosario’s story. After all, she did live a very interesting life, which you couldn’t say the same about the women or men from that period, or even mine (thank God).
The cast delivered an understated, and therefore, a very much welcome, performance. Jennylyn Mercado’s Rosario was coy and sly, where she could have been abrasive due to her American, liberal education. I have my misgivings on Dennis Trillo, whose characterization was too obvious, as well as on the many cameo apperances by known personalities, particularly by those that played Mother Superior and the doctor—they were distracting.
However, my hat is off to Sid Lucero, especially in that last scene, where his face went through a plethora of emotions, that, even without delivering a line, I started crying like I was a huge Nicholas Sparks fan on the set of The Notebook. From then on until the credits rolled, it was nonstop crying for me and I blame Dolphy for that, too.
Mon and I caught the Metro Manila Film Festival awards night on TV last Sunday. We were floored to have seen Mel del Rosario, Ai Ai delas Alas, and Wenn Deramas win for Best Screenplay, Best Actress and Best Director—all for Tanging Ina—but we haven’t seen the film so we apprehensively reserved our curses and judgement (because we couldn’t believe Jennylyn and Director Albert Martinez weren’t even nominated). The next day, after seeing Rosario, we made it a point to watch Tanging Ina to see if it deserved the accolades.
Here’s my review: ‘Tangina nyo, MMFF judges.