Sunday, January 06, 2008

Movie Review: Sakal, Sakali, Saklolo

Movie Review: Sakal, Sakali, Saklolo
(a.k.a. “My share in contributing a meager P260 to the local movie industry”)

It started out as a typical weekend day at the mall. So typically Filipino, in fact. Complete with a Jollibee dinner, window shopping, and the highlight at some point being a drag queen in make-up and a mini-skirt popping out of a cubicle in the men’s room to a wide-eyed bunch of guys, who I assume were mostly straight.

* * * * *

With the remnants of the 2008 Metro Manila Film Festival holding on to what I assume is the last handful of days at the cineplexes, we had before us the annual line up of movies that didn’t represent the best of Philippine cinema, it represented what was LEFT of Philippine cinema.

The curious little boy in me had been trying to make my dominatrix wife agree to seeing Bong Revilla’s “Resiklo”, despite having to try and dodge Dingdong Dantes’ laser vision…

Obviously, I lost.

So we ended up seeing the sequel to last year’s critical hit, “Kasal, Kasali, Kasalo,” whose title was the rather creatively coined “Sakal, Sakali, Saklolo.” And I meekly followed my wife into the movie, whose prequel she supposedly caught on TV…

Given the praises last year’s prequel received, along with a nod from director Mark Meily himself, I actually expected a good movie. So, you think I got it?

No. The good news is that I didn’t get a bad one either.

After several months of intensely hawking Fitrum slimming caps, Judy Ann Santos and writer/director Jose Javier Reyes seem to have agreed that it was tantamount to give Juday as many opportunities as possible to show off her new, improved physique. Okay, not a bad figure at this point, but I could never get past the roundness of her face…

My beef with “slice-of-life” style Pinoy movies has always been the lack of solidly interesting conflict. And “Sakal…” is no exception. I imagine that the prequel ended with the couple happily marrying despite the social differences and all. And a wedding always provides a decent crescendo to a love story, which is where “Sakal…” picks up at the start.

So we get a glimpse of a career-vs.-family scenario for Juday, and a boy growing out of his expensive boyish hobbies for Agoncillo. All that, complete with the respective circles of friends that offer sometimes amusing commentary.

Juday points out to Agoncillo that they have to watch their expenses, then guess what? At the next scene, they're shopping at Santis’ Delicatessen. Real budget-friendly shopping right there… At least we now know where Direk Reyes gets his Hungarian sausages…

The couple tries to re-ignite their marriage by accepting an invitation to visit Dominic Ochoa is Spain, in what is most certainly the most expensive part of the movie. Now I understand that the distance from their son, Rafa was supposed to provide the source of the supposed conflict, what with the in-laws/grandparents suddenly taking turns imposing themselves on the poor child. The trip ends abruptly when they find out Rafa gets sick, and they quickly reschedule an earlier flight back home. Wow, real edge-of-your-seat material right there...NOT.

Guess what happened after that…? After a few kinks here and there, they all lived happily ever after. Honest.

I was mildly entertained, but while some situations were nice and realistically done, I was left wondering about what the movie stood for. It was almost academic for me to assume that the previous movie’s premise revolved around the social differences of the protagonists, which probably gave Direk Reyes a field day writing the first one, with a lot of stuff left over.

But here, Reyes just lets his characters go through the motions from one expected scenario to the next. I felt the movie was sprinkled with a lot of potential subplots that weren’t maximized, such as the placement of Hans Montenegro as Juday’s flirty co-worker, who is also a potential foil to Ryan Agoncillo’s rich kid husband. Agoncillo’s luggage getting lost… Agoncillo’s wallet getting stolen… Little details that could’ve been more useful. Oh, and they also wasted Freddie Webb’s time by handing him a character that had almost as much depth as a paper doll.

The chemistry between on and off-screen couple Judy Ann Santos and Ryan Agoncillo is unmistakable, but the truly bright spots are obviously the veteran actors in Gloria Romero, Ariel Ureta and Gina Pareño. They are just plain brilliant given their rather limited material, with Pareño’s over-the-top-ness reminding me of my own mother-in-law (without the redeeming factors.)

From what I gather from this episode, the first movie must’ve been good. My wife thinks so. Ergo, I think they should’ve left it as it was. But this movie supposedly made money, too. So I guess I smell another sequel? Oh well, I’m getting “Resiklo” on DVD.

Catch a movie review of “Resiklo” by Maverick Advertising’s former copywriter, Michelle Dompor.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Lot of words