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Mario Bautista, has been with the entertainment industry for more than 4 decades. He writes regular columns for People's Journal and Malaya.

Nov 1, 2016

Siphayo Movie Review: Full Of Shameless Sex Scenes, With Nathalie Hart Baring Herself Totally To Delight Male Viewers

WE’RE SURPRISED that Joel Lamangan’s earthy and shameless sex-drama, “Siphayo (Dismay”), is given a no-cuts R1-6 rating when it features its reckless lead star Nathalie Hart in an unabashed full frontal nudity scene. During the press screening held at Fisher Mall, before that scene came out on screen, we saw Nathalie rushing out of the theatre. “Ayokong mapanood!” she screams.

We saw her later waiting for the press at the theater lobby and everyone congratulated for being so daring and uninhibited. She’s lucky that she won the International Filmfest Manhattan best actress award in New York even if the movie is not really of the pang-award variety but a very commercial enterprise from Direk Joel whose obvious objective is for it to make more money at the box office than to win prestigious awards.

“Siphayo” is full of brazen sex scenes and Nathalie gives an erotic, no-holds-barred performance that harks back to the movies of Regal in the 70s and 80s and of Seiko’s ST and TF (Sex Trip and Titillating films). Even leading men Luis Alandy and Joem Bascon are shown butt naked in their bed scenes with Nathalie. Let’s see if “Siphayo” would bring back the glory days of sex dramas in local cinema in this day and age when sex is now so easy to access (for free at that) on the internet.

In fairness to Direk Joel, he tried to inject some semblance of social relevance into the movie with such valid topics as agricultural lands being eaten up by greedy businessmen who build malls and supermarkets in what used to be ricelands, making small time farmers lose their only source of livelihood. But the core of the story remains to be the bizarre love quadrangle between a randy farmer (Allan Paule) and his two sons (Joem and Luis) over a young nurse (Nathalie) who has nude love scenes with no inhibitions with all of them.

The film is quite well acted by everyone. Allan has his moments as the amoral father who even tries to make it out with his daughter in law (Elora Espano), the common law wife of his son Luis. Luis as the elder son has bed scenes with both Elora and Nathalie and shines in his violent confrontation scenes with his own dad. But among the guys, Joem has the most demanding role as the seemingly weakling son who has a tendency to be a cry baby, then springs a surprise later with a total 360 degree turnabout in his role.

Maria Isabel Lopez is very touchingly credible as the dying wife of Allan (she’s getting to be a fine character actress, as also seen in “Lorna” and “Barcelona”) while Elora Espano is also splendid as the trusting wife who’ll be in for a big surprise. As the woman who brings shame and scandal in Allan’s family, Nathalie supplies the earthiness and sexiness her role calls for. We just wish that she were given more demanding dramatic scenes to highlight her being so cunning and manipulative for engineering the very contrived incidents in the story.

In the end, viewers who want a sunny happy ending will surely complain because the movie’s twisted conclusion is not the usual “good triumphs over evil”. Here, it is the scheming characters with a hidden agenda who succeed and get away with it with so much impunity. If you’re the kind of viewer who believe it’s evil people are really dominant all over now and want that kind of ending, then this movie is most certainly for you. But if you’re someone who prefers redeeming factors, you won’t find that in “Siphayo” at talagang kayo’y masisiphayo.