Tag Archives: Angelina Kanapi

Review: Norte, The End Of History – Lav Diaz (2013)

Director: Lav Diaz
Cast: Side Lucero, Angeli Bayani, Archie Alemania, Angelina Kanapi, Soliman Cruz, Mae Paner, Hazel Orencio

NorteThis was the Philippine entry to this year’s Academy Awards’ Best Foreign Language Film category. Despite not getting shortlisted, I still believe that this was the best choice for said category. Initially, I would’ve thought that the Barber’s Tales would have a bigger impact but watching one after the other – Norte clearly outshoned the Eugene Domingo-lead film in every aspect.

Set in the Northern region of the Philippines, the film introduced us to Joaquin (Archie Alemania) whose existence is mainly strengthened by his loving wife Eliza (Angeli Bayani). But even love could easily be tested by poverty. When Joaquin’s money-lender gets murdered, pointing fingers led him into prison that transformed his belief altogether into another persona. His wife however struggles to provide for their children as the years of his incarceration goes by.

Meanwhile, the real perpetrator Fabian (Sid Lucero) spiraled down into madness as guilt eats him up even if he thinks he’s already doing penance in his own way.

I was almost certain that I won’t be able to finish this film midway into it but it kept me glued up to the final frame for some reason. The story was compact yet the sequences were a bit longer than I would’ve liked. Archie Alemania’s indelible portrayal was a picture of hopelessness that it breaks you to the core. Sullen and cringe-worthy, Sid Lucero gave me the creeps but I was also rendered breathless by his sudden shift from normal into shifty nature as Fabian. Angeli Bayani’s performance fits the role perfectly and it was a given that she’d do well.

Director Lav Diaz’s vision may have been too ambitious for stretching this film well over four hours but his story-telling  acumen of this prose of a film is what made Norte a tolerable watch [running-time wise – you should be ready to seat your ass out]. The story was gripping, yes. It gave me that feeling when I was watching The Tree Of Life where I’d just like to bolt out of my seat but kept watching because I cannot resist having a glimpse into the next scene. Norte delivers a semblance of the Philippine society that’s still very much happening until now – what with all the politics, the power-abuse and even the inequality was so transparent that I may very well see this film in real life by merely watching the 7 o’clock news.

Rating: 9/10

 Norte was first released via Cannes Film Festival in 2013 with a Philippine wide release September of 2014.

Review: Zombadings: Patayin Sa Shokot Si Remington (2011)

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It’s just last week that I was finally able to catch one of the most talked-about films of 2011 entitled Zombadings: Patayin Sa Shokot Si Remington. Reason being is that I’m not really big on local films recently because they became too commercialized over the years. I’m glad that some films still offer something new or something fresh like this one. I even wrote a blog about this film that was shown during the Cinemalaya Film Festival last year and thought that the trailer was pretty funny but I didn’t really get the chance to watch its entirety.

The film is about a young boy named Remington who loves pokig fun on gay men (transvestite in general) until he insulted an old transvestite who put a curse on him stating that he’ll turn gay once he grow up. Without realizing it, on his 21st birthday – Remington knew something changed because he suddenly could speak gay-lingo without realizing it and was turning gay in the midst of gay men being hunted by a serial killer in their town.
I guess what I liked most about the film is its concept. It’s very original and very fresh as it uses Filipino gay lingo which are pretty funny. I also loved that they used subtitles for the gay lingos that made the film more relatable and funnier. I think that’s the main thing about the film. It’s not a gay film, it’s actually a movie for everyone. Of course there is the usual stereotyping of gay people such as wearing tacky clothing, working in beauty parlors, being effeminate and all. It was funny in that context but after that, you’d somehow wish that they didn’t show it in a general manner.
On a more positive note, Mart Escudero who played the lead role Remington was definitely the star of the film. The guy can really act and he played it beautifully while being supported by a very strong cast! Somehow, though, the film got lost in the end when the Zombadings (gay zombies) appeared. I guess it’s alright since altogether, the film delivered some good laughs, fresh ideas, great acting and just something new to the  Filipino film industry. Kudos to the creator of this film and everyone involved in it.
Rating: 8.5/10
Director: Jade Castro
Starring: Martin Escudero, Lauren Young, Kerbie Zamora, Janice de Belen, John Regala, Angelina Kanapi, Leandro Baldemor, Daniel Fernando with the special participation of Roderick Paulate and Eugene Domingo