For four straight years, Iâ€™ve been supporting the Cinemalaya Film Festival. Iâ€™ve read articles about it when I was still based in Pangasinan and hoped that one day, Iâ€™d be able to catch the screening at the Cultural Center of the Philippines. Being in the province with only limited number of movies to choose from made it hard for me. Yes, thereâ€™s a good number of pirated DVDs being sold there, but nothing beats the experience of watching a film in a movie house. These are made for the big screen anyway.
I have to admit that it is a dream of mine that one day, Iâ€™d come up the stage and introduce my film to the moviegoers. Present my cast members, my crew and all that. I would also love to attend the awards night and if deserving, be recognized with the hard work Iâ€™ve done.
But while that dream of mine is still on-hold, I am happy that Loy Arcenas finally introduced his sophomore film entitled REquieme!. With the realistic screenplay by Rody Vera and good direction of Loy Arcenas, it is already expected that this film will be a riot!
Rainy Sunday. I went to CCP early so that I can take pictures and with hopes that Iâ€™d be able to spot some of my Cinemalaya â€˜classmatesâ€™ there. I saw the cast and crew of REquieme infront of CCPâ€™s Main Theater and I am happy that a lot of people went for the Gala Night despite the unpredictable weather. In last yearâ€™s Gala Night of Nino, there were less people who attended. It is quite understandable because first, they didnâ€™t have a popular mainstream actor as lead to the film. It is noticeable that mainstream stars are now participating in this film festival. Second, the trailer was quite misleading. All the while, I thought NINO was a heavy drama film full of opera singers that deals with angsty problems and reactions. But I was wrong. Yes, the movie is all about serious family issues, but I classify it more as a black comedy and I am just amazed on how they managed to insert a lot of elements in the film. The film won a lot of awards, but unlike Ang Babae sa Septic Tank and Ligo Na U, Lapit Na Me, NINO didnâ€™t have any commercial screening here. It did participate in a number of international film festivals though and I think the movie is still travelling. How I envy that film! 😛
Now, the Loy Arcenas â€“ Rody Vera tandem presents REquieme!, which is a bit more fun yet redeeming compared to NINO.Â The released synopsis, trailer and movie poster added to my excitement.
I went there with my grandparents and relatives in tow. We were all excited to watch REquieme. The cast members and all those who helped in the production went onstage then lights offâ€¦ Time to sit back, relax and watch a movie.
Boom. Blue Screen? Why?
Then the opening credits was shown.
No audio. Boom.
Audioâ€™s back, but errrâ€¦ film canâ€™t be played properly until a back-up mp4 file is being shown onscreen. Play button.
After one hour of LOLs, another glitch. Nakakabitin!
I am not so sure if such technical glitch happened in any gala night of competing Cinemalaya films, but I felt bad. I felt bad for those who were eager to watch the final product and I was afraid that the audience might walk out of the hall and regret watching the film. Asan na ang film? Nawawala. Na-kyeme.
But no. The audience chose to stay and it thanks to the obligatory English subtitles, some were still holding on to their seats, laughing at some lines even without the audio. Pirated ba â€˜to? Sakit sa ulo pero keribels lang!
When the film ended, moviegoers gave their warm round of applauseÂ (even in some parts). Iâ€™m just happy that at least, the movie is worth watching for.
My plan to talk to the cast members and record a short video didnâ€™t push through because I had to accompany my grandparents. Alam nâ€™yo na, mabuting apo hehe. I am still stunned with Shamaine Centenera-Buencaminoâ€™s presence. Lagi siyang present sa Cinemalaya, but she only scored her first Balanghay trophy last year when she bagged the Best Supporting Actress award for NINO. If Iâ€™m not mistaken, she is not the original choice to play the role of Swanie. Iâ€™m glad she got the role as she portrayed the role of a strong-willed woman naturally. I canâ€™t help but remember her role as Lydia Dimacuycuy in Legacy too 😛
Anthony Falcon is Cinemalayaâ€™s newest discovery. I dunno. When I first saw his photo (without make-up), I thought of a Pinoy and younger version of Arthur Gaspar (do I love Kazaky that much? LOL). He is not matinee idol or a reality-based artista search discovery, but heâ€™s got what it takes to stay long in the biz. The role of Joanna is quite tricky to pull-off. She should act lady-like without overacting and even on the physical aspect. Having REquieme as his first major role in a movie, I wonâ€™t be surprised if other indie film producers or even mainstream studio productions would hire him. Hoping to be introduced to him soon. Gwapo rin siya in person teehee 😛
The supporting characters were also great. My favorite though is Endong played by Renner Concepcion. I hope the judges would consider his portrayal in the deliberation for Best Supporting Actor.
Story-wise, my favorite is the depiction of the relationship of Joanna (Anthony Falcon) and Winston (Paul Jake Paule). Reminds me of my beki friends who are in sincere relationships now.Â I also love the closing frame. I donâ€™t want to elaborate much as I might spill some details. All in all, this movie is a mix of everything that will also make you think in the end. Pero woot, nakakabitin! I salute Rody Vera for this!
^ Play the video above and listen to the movie theme song by Budoy Marabiles
Last Wednesday night, I went to Greenbelt 3 to rewatch the movie with Aaron. I’m glad na sold-out ang screening that night <3
I would like to congratulate the cast and crew of REquieme! for a job well done! Sana PAYAPA rin ang makuhang parangal at patuloy sana ang pagtangkilik ng mga manonood sa lahat ng pelikulang kalahok sa Cinemalaya 😀
Facebook Page:Â http://www.facebook.com/REquiemeTheMovie