Cinema One Originals Dispatches: Day 2

Mamay Umeng effectively transports viewers into the lifeworld of a rural geriatric man, where time crawls like an injured snail and there’s really nothing much to do except wait for one’s death. Impressive debut. A-

Even if Aberya had too many things to focus on in one sitting, I could see the ambition and originality at work. I have high hopes that director Christian Linaban, along with Remton Zuasola and Victor Villanueva, will be blazing the trail in reviving Cebuano cinema. B+

Mariposa sa Hawla ng Gabi is too relentlessly noisy and undisciplined for my taste. The film revels in shock and gore but does’t let the audience empathize with any of the characters. By mid-film, I just stopped caring. C-

Pascalina is engaging up to the last shot, the film proves that HD cameras do not make good films, solid storytelling and directing do. Pam Miras has a keen eye for detail and one is hard put to find a false note in the film. A-

I couldn’t find anything to hold on to in Catnip. The characters feel more like archetypes whose actions have no rational explanations. Lauren Young looks too pretty for a disturbed woman, and the film looks too pretty for its dark story. C

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