Sunday, August 29, 2010

Mamarazzi - When Laughter is But A Dismissive Flatus

Prior to a hysterectomy (an operation that removes a diseased uterus) due to a tumor, Violeta Langit (Eugene Domingo) wants to bear a child. But being a hopeless virgin, finding the willing sperm donor becomes an impossible task. Her best friend, barangay captain Mandy (John Lapus) – who’s as gay as every Liza Minelli impersonator – consents to sleep with her. But the deal proved too ghastly to consummate. So, Mandy offers his boytoy forward – the eternally cash-strapped Carlo (played by delectable Diether Ocampo) for the baby-making job. But Carlo instead flies off with a chunk of Violy’s fortunes.

Sixteen years later, Violy is enjoying a thriving business as an encoffineer a la Yojiro Takita’s “Departure – she prepares deceased people for burial by making them look “beautiful”. Violy is now mother to triplets: Peachy and Strawberry (both played by Andi Eigenmann) and Dingdong (played by AJ Perez). Trouble appears when the children insist on knowing their father's identity! And much like fabricated fantasies, Carlo miraculously returns for his belated apologies, and to correct his past grievances.

As a matter of spicing up the broth, we have side stories about the impossibly effete Mandy fathering a child Greg (Aaron Villaflor) from one night of drunken indiscretion (with Sheree); Andi Eigenmann doing an “Agua Bendita” with the hammy Carl Guevarra; the handsome and belligerent AJ Perez carrying a torch for Carla Abellana (as the aspiring actress Mimi).

"Mamarazzi" is a busy film with too much irrelevant narrative strains, and characters – like Greg and Oscar’s (Aaron Villaflor and Xian Lim) closeted, budding love affair. But then what do we expect from a Joel Lamangan comedy?

Director Lamangan can’t muster anything but tawdry, tasteless caricatures to delineate gay characters outside of his political dramas, and though he may think of them as homage to the 3rd kind, Lamangan actually does a disservice to the pink community by painting them less human; depicting them as oddball characters. Mere laughing stock! In Lamangan comedies, gay people are reduced to eccentric oddities of society. For someone who’s actually gay like Lamangan, this underscores the extent of his directorial insight – a vision as hollow as a fortune teller’s “bolang kristal”.

Eugene Domingo makes the most of her scenes, but something in the script feels tired. She has always been a reliable comic actress, and her verbal tussle with John Lapus is on perfect show in “Mamarazzi”. We weren't pleased with Lapus in “Here Comes the Bride” but he does a lot better here where he isn’t tasked to portray a straight horny geriatric (which was excruciating to watch). When Lapus and Domingo share the screen, they lighten up the otherwise banal scenes, conjured from the resplendent imagination of (hold your breath) Ricky Lee!

Some punch lines were too tacky, even from Ms. Domingo’s gargantuan talent: Gusto mo ng kadugo, tawagan ko si Rosa Rosal! - or - Puro punebre ang cassette ko sa bahay. – or Habang may patay, may pag-asa.” Even her Nora Aunor impersonation (when she finds a returning Diether) were gratingly gag-inducing.

When Diether asks John Lapus for money, the latter replies,Ano bang tingin mo sa akin, dyowa or ATM? Diether shots back with, Di ba pwedeng pagsabayin? Humirit pa.

When Diether excuses himself for the toilet in mid-foreplay, the latter quips, Nakakaihi talaga ang beauty ko.

While conversing with Lapus at a restaurant, she places her order to a waiter, Ako coffee, s’ya mouthwash! You see, some of these gags are too hackneyed to be appreciated.

Finally, something has to be said about Carl Guevarra’s horrible performance here. Though it’s doubtful anyone would complain about his screen presence, his vocal delivery belies any promise of an acting future. It isn’t too expensive to enroll him at a speech and elocution class, is it? He needs to modulate his voice and summon an assertive delivery, as he comes off like a 9 year old girl! He was supposed to play the part of a brainy paramour to Andi Eigenmann’s encyclopedic countenance. He was made to spout scientific names of stuff, like roses - down to their taxonomic nomenclature, but he couldn’t even mouth the words coherently. It was painful to watch him. Joel Lamangan, being a seasoned director, was supposed to remedy such explicit inadequacy, but he didn’t. Was he blind? Deaf? Or just plain dense?

Mamarazzi” educates us on how talented comediennes gradually succumb to mediocrity.

Andi Eigenmann and Carla Abellana

Aaron Villaflor and Xian Lim as the young gay lovers.

Elocute and modulate, Carl!

Carl Guevarra - Better seen than heard!

JC Tiuseco - the perfect kanto boy

And what's with that Globe G-Cash commercial, Ms. Domingo: Shame on you for peddling a TV commercial within a movie! I just spit on artists who abuse the privilege of gracing the silver screen by peddling TV commercials in a movie where people pay hard earned money! Cheap huh!

Mahiya naman kayo! Or are local actors too kapal mukha to understand that the cinema is not a venue to endorse products? Do your own peddling on your television shows where people don't pay anything! Not in a movie where people fork out their hard earned P150 - 180 for a relaxing time at the movies!

Here is a comment from a certain "Zare" on the Hating Kapatid review at (July 21, 2010)

"Sarah Geronimo, the ultimate pawnshop camwhore! i still remember how funny it was when it was done well in Wayne's World... Doesn't work here though. It is horrible. What a cheap way to mock movie audiences. Didnt also like the part where they came dangerously close to making fun of the pain of a poor bereaved family at a funeral. It had intention, but to me it was tasteless..."

Who farted?

No comments: