Monday, November 17, 2014

Carl Joseph Papa's "Ang Di Paglimot ng mga Alaala" -

Two years after a tragic chapter in her life, Pia collates and presents materials while trying to remember her cancer-stricken mother Lilibeth. From a bevy of fading photographs to video conversations with her Aunt Nancy who lives in North America, the thread of events covers the period from December 1997 to a more current time, March 16, 2012 to April 2012, when the mother has finally admitted defeat, “I’ve lost the battle but won the war.”
While the concept presents a novel idea for narrative exposition, the material ultimately fails to gather enough traction to make a case worthy of one’s attention. In fact, the early part constituting old photographs ushers into something that briskly alienates the viewer when the latter becomes an indifferent spectator of what seems like random chronicling of a person’s life. More importantly, the subject isn't even interesting to begin with. It’s like getting stuck in a long haul, 18-hour flight with a chatty seat mate who panders to the stranger’s ineluctable boredom, blabbering on about his mundane life. If you’re the recipient of such attention, you’d have to sit through hours of torture listening about a most disinteresting life.

In the film, Pia Franco, the narrative protagonist , goes prattling on to a distant aunt Nancy about random topics: buying a hula hoop she hasn't even learned to use; watching television series like “Supernatural” because season 5 has become an engaging watch; getting through the novel “Catching Fire”; dissing the ex-boyfriend who has migrated to Ontario, California; sharing her career change because she prefers fixed hours than the “flexitime” that pays nil for OT’s; or reminiscing about her mother who tells an erring teacher “Bullshit!” The story ultimately centers on the plight of the mother who gets diagnosed with breast cancer, stage 2 as it spirals down to her ultimate demise .

The movie experience, at some point, felt like punishment. You start watching a girl who’s too cheerful for her own sake. She’d giggle at anything she’d say. What transpires before you are sapped out monologues, it doesn't even matter if they're real or not. While it is valid that people will always have stories to tell, not everything is a cinematic event. And not every novel idea is worth the price of a movie ticket. In this semblance of cinema, what transpires on celluloid does not entertain, does not provoke and does not engage. It kills time though... in a plodding wasteful manner. 

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