Some movies you watch and then forget about, and some movies you think about for days after.
I was lucky to have been invited to a special screening of Metro Manila last week at SM Megamall.
I felt bad that the screening was so special, it was only half full. I wish I could’ve invited ten of my friends because it is worth seeing.
Written and directed by Academy Award nominee Sean Ellis (for his short film Cashback in 2004) Metro Manila is shot in Tagalog with English subtitles.
It tells about a poor farmer, his wife and two children who try their luck in Manila when it runs out for them in the province.
The story hits home when I think about the people working for me at home—the driver of 20+ years from Bohol, the maids from Samar, Negros, Romblon. They all left their homes, families, children to work for us, to care for our children, cook for us, wash our clothes, take our kids to school.
The movie makes you think about these people, and it hurts.
The farmer, Oscar Ramirez is played by Jake Macapagal, who looks like a Japanese matinee idol, says my friend Jude.
His portrayal will break your heart.
I thought his wife Mai was perfectly cast in indie actress Althea Vega, who looks part bold star, part Nora Aunor.
She has that “native” face and hot body.
When Mai is forced to work as a bar girl to feed her children, you genuinely feel bad for her and don’t want to judge another Burgos girl you come across.
Upon arriving in Manila, Oscar needs to find a job and a place to stay. After a string of bad luck in both departments, he ends up working as a driver of an armored truck, guided by a corrupt partner/buddy named Ong (played by John Arcilla).
Ong’s was the character and portrayal I didn’t appreciate, with the fake laughter and the opera music (what Filipino armored car driver listens to opera music to keep sane?). Or maybe his acting was good because I really hated him!! You feel he is up to no good even if he’s trying to be nice.
As farmer Oscar tries to get along with Ong, he learns about the evil ways going on in Metro Manila, and how to save his family from its clutches.
The rest of the story I won’t tell, except it is a boy movie, with lots of blood and shooting, and it will break your heart many times, you wonder when will the pain ever stop. It stops in the end, thankfully.
The movie has been selected as the UK’s official entry to the Oscar Awards’ Best Foreign Language Film category.
Whether it will make it to the final nominees will be known on January 16, 2014.
In the meantime, I encourage you to support and watch as the film shows in theaters on October 9, 2013.
Aside from getting some pop corn and ice-cold Coke, make sure you pee before the movie starts, because you don’t want to miss a thing towards end.
To know more, go to https://www.facebook.com/metromanilafilm