Monday, August 19, 2013

"Metro Manila" Movie Review: An Art Imitates Life Masterpiece

"Metro Manila" movie is the product of hardwork, imagination, and love in filmmaking by the award-winning director Sean Ellis. In this film, he visualized and captured a powerful and compelling drama in its simplest yet most eye opener presentation. Director Sean Ellis not only captured the grotesque state of the lives in Metro Manila and the struggles some people encounter in the metropolis, but he also captured the heart of story hidden among the busy streets, colorful night lights, and crazy living in the metro. What is more spectacular is that, all of these things happened in the film "Metro Manila" were visualized and captured through eyes of a foreign filmmaker.

The movie "Metro Manila" is not a Philippine production independent film. However, its cast includes an array of equally good in their craft Filipino artists both from mainstream and independent Philippine cinemas. The movie instantly became a powerful socio-political eye opener movie - that not all things bright and beautiful you see in the metro are good; that not all the glitz and glamour of the city are in their true form; and that different people wear different masks whenever they need or want to.

The film tackles poverty in its strangest and most unique form. "Metro Manila" movie started slow as it establishes its plot and character. Aside from the good actors in it, the movie is also packed with stunning landscapes, cinematography and camera angles. I simply love how the superb visuals of the Mountain Province, up to the busy streets of Metro Manila are presented. I think director Sean Ellis made sure that each scene in each digital frame is a digital work of art ready to be captured with his lens.

Truth be told perhaps that the director may have captured the ugly, smelly, and most hideous side of Metro Manila in his lens, but the drama of putting that really helped to set the mood of the film.

"Metro Manila" movie summary/synopsis/plot

"Metro Manila" tells the story of Oscar (played by Jake Macapagal) the farmer and how he and his family decided to flee to Manila to look for a job to support his family. When he and his family arrived in Manila, a series of unfortunate events happened until Oscar was hired as a driving assistant to an armored car driver (played by John Arcilla). Meanwhile, Oscar's wife (played by Althea Vega) was hired as a guest relations officer or GRO in a night club. A surprising turn of events led to an unexpected twists of the story.

Althea Vega's character is one of her most, if not her most important role she has ever portrayed. Her facial aura and acting helped her playing the role of Oscar's wife believable and so true. With this role, Althea Vega's already rising name in indie movies suddenly becomes the next big thing in independent cinemas.

Jake Macapagal's Oscar character is not your typical padre de familia character. Oscar's will and determination to make a living is both commendable and inspiring. I must admit, this is the first time I saw Jake Macapagal act in any movies ever. But his acting has depths and class, you will pity him in this movie, promise.

On the other, John Arcilla's villanous character is different. His intentions may not be needed, but you will know that he wants more. John Arcilla delivered his lines so accurate, it seems that he is not acting at all. This person really knows his craft very well.

The execution of the passionate scenes from two of the characters, Althea and Jake is done artistically, I love how it is shown in the final edit. Well, I guess this is just one of the reasons why it got a rating of R-13 aside from violent tendencies and theme of the story. But overall, this movie is a masterpiece every filmmaker should surpass.

"Metro Manila" is brought to us by Creative Cinema and is scheduled to be shown on October 9, 2013.

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