My Day 3 in Cinemalaya is a mixed bag. I loved Aparisyon, liked Oros, and was embarrassed by Mga Mumunting Lihim. I’m writing a longer review of Aparisyon so I’ll just post my thoughts on the other two films:
Mga Mumunting Lihim (Jose Javier Reyes)
The premise of friendships unraveling as hidden feelings they harbor about each other are surfaced by a diary could have been made into an interesting film but Joey Reyes does not come up with engaging back stories that support that premise. The result is a tiring string of scenes that get too old quickly when the viewer realizes that these ‘explosive’ secrets do not ultimately mean much at all to the people involved. It’s just ironic that Iza Calzado’s character tells her advertising colleagues to revise a proposed concept because it forces emotions out of viewers. Mga Mumunting Lihim itself does just that.
Oros (Paul Sta. Ana)
Despite being totally predictable (i.e., following the Bing Lao School of Found Story, and the script intent on signposting eventual key plot points to warn viewers that something dramatic will happen soon), Oros still manages to grip viewers mainly because of two things: director Paul Sta. Ana’s restraint and keen eye for detail, and Kristoffer King’s terrific performance as a sakla operator.