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Kaleldo.2006.Brillante Mendoza

December.21.2009

Coming from a Bulakeno family and mostly related with Kampampangans, it was a gem for me to watch this film. And with a Tagalog setting and a film director with Brillante Mendoza, then you get a very world class Filipino film.

I am quite fascinated with the way the story was delivered by Mendoza. It wasn’t that strong even if this is a typical Filipino drama film but it was effective and unforgettable. With the different themes of air, fire, and water depicting the three sisters, he was able to deliver the different aspects of the three elements and even gave other definitions for each. And to add, the location was also memorable since he shot a few scenes in the post-Pinatubo era, showing lahar-filled pictures, as initially shown in the opening sequence.

Major characters with the likes of Johnny Delgado and the three sisters, Juliana Palerno, Angel Aquino, and Cherry Pie Picache gave us powerful deliveries especially with Delgado and Picache. The usual Filipino Tagalog family was clearly depicted. Though the family seemed to be having a handful of problems, you can always look at your family and ask, is there such a thing as an ordinary and typical family? I don’t think so.

I guess every time a new player is introduced, it gives us the subtle surprise. It gives us a mama’s boy of a husband; a wimpy husband; and a very taboo relationship with another woman. Even the minor players seemed impressive. With just a look or a few lines, they have already put their places in the film and you can easily understand their positions even without telling you their story.

Aside from the lahar-filled scenes, Mendoza furthered it down to what Pampanga can still give us. He provided a scene Pampanga is famous for and that is the flagellant setting and he was able to infuse that scene in the storyline. And I am just glad that he didn’t include any close up shots of those who are crucified or even gave us a lot of crucified scenes. He was able to pinpoint in that movie that even flagellation is enough to free you of your sins. And that is just a personal view, IMHO.

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