Saturday, August 11, 2012

Ang Nawawala

The much maligned Filipino movie industry is often filled with fantasy, drama, and comedy movies that don't make you think. It's often all for the glory of manufactured artistas and movie studios. But there is a yearly event that brings out the best in Filipino movie making. Cinemalaya is the chance for indie movie makers to show their art and breathe life into the decaying corpse that is Philippine cinema. I must admit that this is the first time I watched any indie movies from Cinemalaya. But something in me told me that maybe I should give this movie festival a shot.

I trooped to Trinoma to catch screenings of the movies in the Cinemalaya film fest. I read movie reviews about the films first before I decided to watch one. What caught my eye was the indie movie by Marie Jamora.

Ang Nawawala

Ang Nawawala caught my eye because of its take on silence. After watching The Artist there is something about silence that speaks volumes. I would boldly claim that this movie won't be able to touch the hearts and minds of the masses, unless you came from a certain school or certain family.

The movie is about a young man named Gibson and his self-imposed silence since he was a child. You can read a synopsis here, because I won't go into much detail about it. This movie brings the indie music scene, style, and depth that a majority of Filipino films lack. There are multiple layers to each character in the story especially Gibson. He kind of reminds me of the guy in American Beauty.

Creepy guy pointing a camera and documenting everything

Gibson's silence is open to interpretation: it either hides depth or just plain shallowness. His character is in stark contrast to the boyfriend of her sister who just talks and blabbers mindlessly. The main reason why he stopped talking was because he saw his twin brother plummet to his demise and his own mother couldn't even tell if he was his brother or Gibson. He didn't want to say anything. You could insert several interpretations about identity or whatnot but that's up to you.

He meets a girl named Enid, his first real shot at a romantic relationship. The relationship goes on an interesting twist because she was the first person he (Gibson) decided to say something to after several years. Hurting everyone else around home, especially his childhood friend. The relationship didn't turn out for the best but it taught Gibson something. He realized the pain that his mother was feeling after several years, caused by the death of his twin brother. The self-imposed silence and the things that have happened to Gibson finally made him decide to talk. His self-imposed silence pushed him to the brink and made him realize that he had to open up and let go. Catharsis!

I like the whole silence motif, although I wouldn't say that this one was better than the Artist, but it was pretty close (Filipino pride).    

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