Friday, March 4, 2011

Masikip sa Tatlo - Clueless Experiments in Pink

To say that a movie like “Masikip sa Tatlo” is an experimental film is to highlight the production’s grave ignorance and misunderstanding of what one truly is. It’s not even the active oppositional stance on mainstream cinema, i.e. taking film language into non sequitur. It is the gibberish cluelessness of its producers, actors, script writer and director Edz Espiritu. The worse thing about this is the high minded impression that they are actually making art when all they have is a grade school pad paper with the crayon sketchings of a toddler.


In a more solid form, what is an experimental film? Think Luis Bunuel and Salvador Dali’s “Un Chien Andalou” (Andalusian Dog) which should rightfully be explored in this blog very soon. The boxed concept of an Experimental Film is as follows: it has a nonlinear narrative, an abstract story telling employing cinematographic experiments (out of focus, animation) and rapid editing. Sound could be asynchronous – and much of what unfolds on screen is of non-diegetic nature. In short, the audience is given active participation to unravel the narrative, instead of the usual spoonfeeding that goes along with mainstream cinema. The aforementioned parameters, however, are hardly satisfied in Edz Espiritu’sMasikip sa Tatlo” – which proudly labels itself as an “experimental Film by (producer) Flor Ignacio”.

This scene provides the only raison d'etre of this movie. Anton Nolasco soaping away.

Pimply nubile Josh Patrick.


Sandy (Jersey Milano) and Reynante (Anton Nolasco) are a couple of call center agents living in sexual harmony. Their ramshackle space is inconsequential to their conjugal bliss. Sandy cooks breakfast like a contented “wife”, while Reynante comes home bearing gifts. A happy home indeed.

One day, Reynante gets a distress call from Miguel (Josh Patrick), a masseur from his not so distant past. Miguel's massage clinic has been closed down and he is left unemployed – and homeless. Though initially reluctant, Reynante eventually takes Miguel home with him. “Naiilang ako sa kanya,” complains Sandy, but the visitor nonetheless gets to sleep on the couch at the living room. However, Reynante finds nubile and pimply faced Miguel irresistible. He is lured into flirtatious banters and a hundred lip action with their youthful guest. We all know that when recklessly playing with fire, someone is bound to get burned. And suffering Sandy is getting all the singes. What’s a guy to do?


In what should be one of the most annoying movies to ever test our patience, “Masikip sa Tatlo” has delusions of dramatic pertinence, though its lopsided ministrations reveal there isn’t much common sense from the story teller. Script (by Paul Singh Sudail) leaves much to be desired, and has a habit of repeating itself to mimic a conversation.

Reynante: “Ayoko na sa call center. Burn out na ako.”

Sandy: “Ayaw mo ba talaga sa call center?”


Reynante: “May iba na ako.”

Miguel: “Eh ano ngayon kung may iba ka na. Ikaw naman ang pakikisamahan ko.” (Which clues you in on how idiotic these creatures are. Being in a relationship means staying away from others. Duh!)


Reynante to visitor Miguel: “Di ko alam kung hanggang kalian tayo ganito. Kung hanggang bukas o isang lingo o isang buwan. Ang importante eh kasama tayo.” (And you’d think this was a dramatic epic a la “Gone with the Wind”.)

Simply put, the musings of these characters are too far removed from what we otherwise know as reality. Check this out: Once Sandy starts getting the intuition that he’s being taken for a ride, and his suspicions point to Reynante and Miguel fiddling each other’s joysticks, he’s actually caught them several times:

1. He comes home from work to find Reynante and Miguel asleep beside each other half naked – in their “conjugal bed”. As a consequence, he cooks breakfast by cutting the egg into pieces. LOL;

2. He wakes up from his drunken stupor with Reynante not beside him. He finds Reynante French kissing Miguel in the living room, while Miguel’s hand reaches under Reynante’s shorts, mashing away the family jewels, effusively checking out his pearls and a magic wand. Talk about catching the thief in flagrante delicto, right? But Sandy doesn’t move to the next level of realization. He remains suspicious. Hahaha!

3. Sandy comes home to find Miguel sleeping (again!) on their bed. He looks for Reynante and finds the latter bathing. The next thing he witnesses is even funnier than, say Sharon Cuneta’s authentic Truth-in-Advertisement Marie France billboards up in Edsa (I recently saw it and I got disoriented, I almost asked my driver to pull over so I could recover from my shock). Now back to Sandy, he finds Miguel urinating, while Reynante is indiscreetly gazing as the urine stream flows through – up close and personal, as they say! For the umpteenth time, Sandy remains suspicious! (Ohgawd! Spare me from utter stupidity!)

At this point, Sandy gathers enough courage to errr… internalize. He locks himself in the bathroom. And then, we witness the most heart shattering emotional breakdown, caught on cam in soaring emotional plateau - yes, plateau. This went on for 5 minutes. He sobs, he shouts, he grunts, he abuses the walls, then he calms down. But wait, he isn’t done! The music shifts to “What Matters Most” (the most popular go-to dramatic theme for Pinoy B-movies, heard recently in “Haliparot - Mana sa Ina”), and Sandy goes wailing - sans tears - and huffing again, plastering his face hard against the grimy bathroom tiles, as he gradually lay down the mildewy bathroom floor. Talk about artistic commitment, right? But wait, he still isn’t entirely convinced of his lover’s infidelity. Despite the numerous situations we’ve mentioned, he remains suspicious! The dweeb!

One day, he comes home to find Reynante and Miguel enjoying light banter – no kissing, no canoodling, no mashing of genitalia – just light heartedly laughter. And like a lit flashbulb, he finally gets cognizance.

Now comes the next gratingly distressful 20 minutes. They slap each other. Reynante bawls, “Mag usap tayo.” "Nilinlang ninyo ako," counters Sandy. Miguelito leaves, "Magtatanim na lang ako ng palay sa Tarlac!". And Sandy gets another moment to perturb us with his hollow, but physically laborious theatrics. I had to control myself from hurling my popcorn and large coke to the screen! My patience has never been tested this much since Mark Shandii Bacolod’sFidel” (who’s coming out with another spine tingling shenaningan called “Donor” - so brace yourselves)!


Since this is marketed as a Pink Film (the poster is a no-brainer), the film has fielded Anton Nolasco, a veteran of male bikini pageants, to the hungry and libidinous 3rd sex audience. And he gamely shares his endowments in a 15 minute bathing scene we’ve witnessed several times last year in movies like “Lagpas”. While bathing, Anton stands in the usual oblique position (halfway between side view and back view), but as the camera lovingly pans his well sculpted dishabille, he intermittently flips around for the requisite peekaboo. And even if you closed your eyes for 10 seconds, he will make sure his mushroom seen! LOL. He even faces the cam and turns the other side. And do you really wonder if this isn't the raison d’etre of a film like “Masikip sa Tatlo”. I swear they could have ended it there and 90% of its audience wouldn't have complained! ;-> (And the scene appears in the first 20 minutes of the movie.)


Crisaldo Pablo’s legacy of fielding unattractive leads is slowly but surely creeping through this maudlin industry. These days, it is enough that guys with enviable physique get to star in low budget potboilers. Forget the “mukhang artista” mentality. As long as someone shows penis, then you have a movie! Pablo’s aesthetics have made it acceptable to scrape bottom.

That Producer Flor A. Ignacio is proud to call it an “experimental Film” (note the small e and capital F) is really a disservice to the likes of Bunuel, Dali, even Peter Greenaway. Or has the criteria changed since it is Pinoy lang?

For making me pay P160 to watch a painfully annoying drivel like this, I shall dedicate my next vomitus to its director!

Anton Nolasco (above and below)

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