Saturday, December 29, 2012

Tony Reyes' Si Agimat, Si Enteng at Si Ako - What People Deserve

Enteng Kabisote’s (Vic Sotto) life couldn’t be more satisfactory, but for his mother-in-law Ina Magenta’s (Amy Perez) occasional surprise visits even during Enteng and Faye’s (Gwen Zamora) intimate moments. One day, Enteng finds another visitor from the kingdom of Amuleto, the sword-bearing warrior Agimat (Bong Revilla) who needs his help: Agimat, you see, is getting hitched to warrior princess Samara (Sam Pinto). The new couple wants the Kabisotes’ halcyon lifestyle on Earth. The earthly couple has been married for 25 years – and Agimat and Samara want the same. But what if invaders try to overrun Agimat’s kingdom again? “Iilaw ang aking kuwintas, at agad akong babalik,” assured the amorous warrior. Unfortunately, life in Manila isn’t a walk in the park. Agimat has scanty skills for the modern world so he relies on Enteng for his family’s daily sustenance. After all, Samara is heavy with a child.

Meanwhile, environmental activist Angeline Kalinisan Ortesa, aka “Ako” (Judy Anne Santos) is tickled pink when she finally meets the legendary duo. “Super duper guapo,” Ako giggles interminably. She briskly insinuates herself in the enviable company, prodding occasional “group hugs” at every possible turn. This annoys wives Faye and Samara no end, seeing Ako as a husband-grabbing opportunist. Who wouldn't when they find the pretty stranger wetting her knickers whenever she’s around their husbands? Unknown to them, Ako is herself an “engkantada”; a magic-wielding princess who mean no harm. But these marital concerns are the least of their problems. In the netherworlds of Engkantasia, Amuleto, and Diwatara (Samara’s kingdom), an onslaught of invasion looms. The dark forces from the evil kingdom of Tokatok have plotted a takeover. When Aiza (Aiza Seguerra) and her friends get captured by the alien forces, the rest of the world is under siege. What to do?  

Agimat, Enteng Kabisote and Ako

Director Tony Reyes’Si Agimat, Si Enteng at Si Ako” is narratively spare and its content artistically destitute. Employing “invasion” (again) to move its plot, and spruced up with the alacrity akin to grade school children, the movie is spreading itself too thin. Haven’t we seen this before? They introduced a new character in Judy Anne Santos’ Ako, but this hardly makes up for its cinematic vacuity. No one really roots for a girl who salivates silly in the company of married men; forget that she’s the svelte Judy Anne Santos. Moreover, the annoying Ako is bereft of any form of empathy, making her presence silly and negligible at best. That she fawns over an in-law hating hero and a potbellied warrior, both wrinkly, is one for the books. Something has to be said about sensory deprivation that makes people weak in the knees in the company of curmudgeonly protagonists.

The film is loud. As it careens recklessly towards its conclusive comeuppance, it drives into auditory overkill. Il n’est pire eau que l’eau qui dort,right? The shallowest makes the most noise to compensate for its hollowness. There’s a gay-and-pink version of Hulk (John Lapus), a shameless Sun Cellular product placement, a gang of white-painted ethnic tribesmen, a horde of alien invaders who look like bad Disney squids, and CGI effects circa 1990. Yes, Virginia. In the age of ubiquitous high technology, we’re back to cheap special effects: the screen turns dark whenever a special effect is introduced. And this one is co-produced by 4 or 5 film companies, GMA Films included? How much did they invest in it, P10,000 each and zero brain activity? Alleluiah, pagpalain ang nagtitipid. Yet this film is raking oodles at the box office! The Filipinos who trooped to the cinemas to watch this – and in the process, ignored Nora Aunor’sThy Womb” or Mark Meilly’sEl Presidente” – get what they deserve. Garbage!

Enteng gets a massage from Faye.

Samara fights the ethnographic nemesis

The diwatas join forces.

No comments: