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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.

Sep 18, 2010

Noy Movie Review

NOY reportedly got a unanimous A from the Cinema Evaluation Board. Does that mean its members didn't notice the holes in the film? Or were they all just carried away by the fact that it's about the newly elected president? If this film were shown before the election, it would no doubt have been branded as propaganda for Noynoy, which it is. No wonder Star Cinema, the film arm of ABS-CBN who's unabashedly pro-Noynoy, agreed to distribute this indie flick.

The story revolves on Noy (Coco Martin), a fake TV journalist who's assigned to cover the campaign of then candidate Noynoy Aquino. His boss (Vice Ganda) reprimands Noy for the lackluster footage he takes of Noynoy. But honestly, we can't understand why they were not able to detect early on that Noy's credentials are fake. In his job interview, it could have been easily detected that he's not really a college graduate as he doesn't even know what a sound byte means and he thinks the name of Noynoy's party is Legal Party, not Liberal Party.

And what's even more confounding is that, despite all his gaffes, his boss doesn't fire him and just lets him to continue covering Noynoy. We also can't understand how a total newbie from an obscure TV station like him will be given such close personal access to Noynoy. Kris Aquino even calls him on a first name basis like they've been friends for ages. This is very unlikely as we know of several much more senior broadcasters who are not on the same footing with Noy in their kind of relationship with any candidate. Here, Noy is allowed to interview Noynoy so intimately, even when he's having a make over.

Another glaring error is the fact that the footage Vice Ganda complains about as bad is actually good and very interesting human interest sequences, like Noynoy horsing around with Baby James and Boy Abunda dancing around while Noynoy records a rap song. The truth is no other broadcast journalist was allowed to tape those scenes in real life, so what's Vice Ganda squawking about?

Noy is made to appear as a sympathetic character since he cares so much for his illiterate mom (Cherry Pie Picache) who gets battered by his black American suitor, his crippled brother (Joem Bascom) who resorts to drug trafficking, and his younger sister (Cheska Billones) who turns out to have diabetes and goes blind because of glaucoma. They live in a place that's perpetually flooded somewhere in Malabon, but the location is not original as it has already been used before by Dante Mendoza in the much more superior "Lola". Noy is in love with his girlfriend (Erich Gonzales), whose generosity he exploits for him to get new clothes she filches from her brother, but he's willing to give her up and tells her to marry someone else.

Noy is not that really sympathetic as he's a user. Not only has he no qualms in using a fake diploma, he also shamelessly asks dollars from his mom's foreigner suitor and looks at the guy as someone who can help them escape from poverty. He wants to be close to Noynoy only so he can use him later on if Noynoy would win the presidency. As a matter of fact, he already asked Noynoy to give a wheelchair to his brother. What Noy fails to foresee is the violence of the drug pushers his brother is working with, ending all his dreams.

In the end, like some deus ex machina resolution, things suddenly brighten up for Noy's family after Noynoy gets elected as president. His blind sister is treated by an eye specialist and gets to see again. His disabled brother gets to work as a technician in some factory. They get a beautiful new house from some government housing project. We won't be surprised if poor people who'd get to see this film will have similar hopes for a magical doleout from the new government, as that is precisely what the ending of "Noy" implies.