MMFF: The Good and the Risks Part 1

MMFF is one of the festivals I normally keep track every year. Held every December (this year it will be from December 25 to January 7, it’s supposed to showcase the best Philippine movies of the year. Lately, though, the quality seemed to go down the drain.

Thankfully this year, with an eclectic mix of entries, more people will troop to the cinemas, cast their unofficial votes on who should take home the award, and these films will lead the pack of better-quality Philippine films in the future.

This year, there are 8 official entries. Let’s begin with 2:

Rosario

Genre: Drama

Main Cast: Sid Lucero, Jennylyn Mercado, Isabel Oli, Philip Salvador, Yul Servo, Eula Valdez

Director: Albert Martinez

Produced by: Cinemabuhay and Studio5

Synopsis: Spanning several decades beginning in the 1920s, the movie follows the story of Rosario, a woman who grew up in New York and whose liberal ways and beliefs defy the conservative nature of Filipinas.

The Good

  • The trailer looks breathtaking.
  • Jennylyn Mercado is such a revelation (fearless forecast: she’ll take home the Best Actress Award).
  • There’s great attention to detail, thanks to Albert Martinez’s meticulousness.
  • Filipinos haven’t been treated to excellent period dramas lately.

The Risks

  • It may end up like Ploning: beautifully done, not watched by many.
  • It’s perhaps the most expensive film in years; they may not be able to recover their production costs within a short amount of time.

Dalaw

Genre: Suspense/Horror

Main Cast: Kris Aquino, Diether Ocampo, Alessandra de Rossi, Gina Pareno, Ina Feleo

Director: Dondon Santos

Produced by: Star Cinema

Synopsis:

Stella (Kris Aquino) is said to be “visited” or haunted by her dead ex-husband. Or is it really him? In order to build a secure family life for her child, she decided to get married again to Anton (Diether Ocampo). However, her hope was never granted as she started experiencing chilling scenarios affecting her and her loved ones.

The Good

  • Star Cinema has produced a number of well-accepted contemporary horror films like Feng Shui and Sukob. Hopefully, this one will follow the same trend.
  • Kris Aquino is the ultimate screaming queen (someone you need in horror/suspense films).
  • The trailer doesn’t show much, so I’m crossing my fingers there will be more surprises in the actual movie.
  • It may be interesting to see Diether Ocampo doing a horror film. He’s more recognized as a dramatic actor.

The Risks

  • Kris Aquino tends to maintain the same expression in scenes where she’s not screaming.
  • Dondon Santos is more identified with soap operas and shorts like Noy, not horror movies. This is one huge leap for him.
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