Sep 23, 2009

OSS # 172: Read

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Thoughts In My Life

Correct me if I'm wrong, but I think that "In My Life" is the first Filipino film depicting a Filipino gay man far from the images of Pacifica Falaypay without the customary sex scenes found in pink indie movies--homosexuality without the emphasis on the sexuality. That alone is a reason for a thumbs up sign.

Thumbs up are also expected with the caliber of an actress portraying the lead role. She was great and I can't argue with that. And I won't even bother elaborate on the merits of her performance. It's a given.

Another thumbs up should go to John Lloyd Cruz, for his endearing performance as Noel, so endearing I have developed a momentary crush on him! There were a lot of kilig* moments for me in the movie. Honestly, I have never found him cute before and I wonder why he often gets chosen for the leading man role. Now, I wonder no more. Ehem-ehem... serious mode again.

What I found lame was the unexpected death near the end of the movie. The character Shirley explained how I felt watching the scenes. I felt cheated! I understood that it was a device used to transform Shirley's character from the narrow-minded person to someone more flexible. The writers probably had a hard time killing Shirley's son with cancer finding it too predictable so they decided to just let a truck, that came out of nowhere, ran him over thereby giving way to Shirley's dramatic change of heart. That was shock and drama in one event but the I must say that it was just as ordinary as any deus ex machina.

Another lame part was the kiss! They built some hype about the kiss as part of the movie's publicity but what do we get? Definitely not one of the kilig moments for me.

Luis Manzano, as Shirley's son Mark, could have been great in the movie but the writers rather not let him act too much. A lot of subtext could have been used on how he found little time for his mother or how irritating it was for him to converse with his mother. Maybe the writers included it but it was a tall order which Manzano failed to deliver. Or maybe the writers thought that the audience would not read his actions properly. Then again, his mother failed to read his actions properly. That was why the writers found a need for Manzano's character to explain himself and the gap that happened between him and Shirley.

Characters in this movie had a need to explain themselves a lot, including Shirley's character when she finally decided to marry Noel (for his green card convenience). There's too much of telling when they should have been just showing. Exchanging of lengthy dramatic lines in movies can go stale especially when conversations like those doesn't really go that way in real life. For a story of a woman trying to grow out of her known convention, this movie failed to grow out of a commercialized story telling convention.

Oh, should I also talk about the funny product placements? Only if I'm paid to. Still, if asked if I should recommend the movie, I would say go watch it if only for Vilma and John Lloyd.


*kilig - (rough translation) excited romantically


D7ana said...

Thanks for an interesting movie review. I checked the promo for it. If it were available on tv or on video, I would watch it. I haven't seen a romance movie in years; my Mom tricked me into seeing one with Kristin Scott Thomas. I vowed never to endure such torture again.

Course "In My Life" has cute guys so ... but nah.

I like this week's "cartoon," too.

tim said...

wow, it is awesome.. i love the topic....

Niel Camhalla said...

LOL @ Dana. Cartoons sound like a good plan.

Thanks tim.

Looking For The Source said...

love vilma and john lloyd. i thought luis was lame. and i hated how luis died.

but its kilig. too bad it was only a smack! hahaha

Anonymous said...

i perfectly agree with this movie review.vilma and john lloyd were the reasons why i liked this movie.

the shock effect of that accident , and that lame kiss, were totally expected from mainstream movies today.luis was quite bad, and completely funny.

btw, when i watched this movie, i felt shame for us Filipinos since I overheard people who were quite shocked by that stupid kiss.what do they expect from a gay themed movie?

just goes to show how prejudicial and stereotypical our society is nowadays.

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