Thursday, December 13, 2007

Proof positive I love my brother

Last Tuesday night, I accompanied Bens to watch the movie Batanes, because he needed to write a paper on it for his Creative Writing elective. I hadn't gone to see a local film in ages, and this one reminded me of precisely why I tend to stay away from them in the first place. Everything made me wince, from the lame acting (why do bad Filipino actors deliver their lines in a weird, singsongy way that's meant to be sincere but just screams fake?) to the poorly translated, grammatically flawed subtitles. Moreover, the plot was both highly unoriginal and painfully contrived. A grieving widow (Iza Calzado) rescues a Taiwanese fisherman (F4's Ken Zhu, looking grubby and bored) who washes up on shore one stormy night. Despite the language barrier and the complete lack of any perceivable chemistry, the 2 fall in love (surprise of the century).

I've always found Iza Calzado pretty, but it turns out she's not much of an actress. Her performance in Batanes wasn't horrible, but it was mediocre at best, and boring at times. She was at least better than Ken Zhu, who was as wooden as the fishing boats that figured prominently in the movie (no wonder he didn't drown). Oh, and speaking of prominent, Iza should kill the camera man who kept using the most unflattering angles to focus on her butt, which, given her delicate features, is surprisingly big (and not in a J.Lo bootylicious way).

The only positive thing about the movie was the setting. I'm not sure if they really filmed all the scenes in Batanes, but the shots of the coastline and cliffs overlooking the sea were breathtaking. At one point Bens turned to me and whispered in a dubious tone, "Pilipinas pa rin ba 'yan?" It's a good thing his teacher asked him to write about how the sea was characterized in the movie, because to me the sea was the only respectable element in the whole thing.

I felt like the filmmakers were trying too hard to make Batanes an artsy movie (or were the subtitles for Ken Zhu's benefit?), but they only got the location right. Everything else sucked: the casting, the acting, the camera direction, the writing, even the music (Jolina sang the closing theme; 'nuff said). Based on this, it's going to take more than sibling love (and pity) to drag me back to see another Filipino film anytime soon.

3 Comments:

At Saturday, December 15, 2007, Anonymous kassiewassie said...

Mi Miss Lim! You should try watching Filipino horror films. They're really, really funny! :p

 
At Saturday, December 15, 2007, Anonymous kassiewassie said...

*Hi, not Mi

 
At Sunday, December 16, 2007, Blogger Ailee Through the Looking Glass said...

The last hilarious Filipino movie I watched was Mano Po. My siblings and I kept snickering throughout. After that, I couldn't bring myself to watch the slew of sequels that followed. I felt like I would be insulting both my Chinese heritage AND my intelligence.

 

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