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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 30, 2010

Ishmael, a tribute to violent films of Tarantino

WRITER-DIRECTOR Richard Somes is a regular in Cinema One Digital Filmfest, his “Yanggaw” even winning so many awards before. This year, his entry, “Ishmael”, failed to impress the jurors. Ronnie Lazaro, who won best actor as the father in “Yanggaw”, is Ishmael, a former soldier who just came out of prison for killing his unfaithful wife and their child. He returns home to find their place now under the control of a cult headed by Ama (Mark Gil) who invites him to join but he rejects it. A teenaged girl runs away from Ama and asks his help but he sends her back to Ama who says the girl will be the mother of their Messiah. The girl returns to Ishmael and reveals she’s the daughter of Ama who now commits incest with her. Ishmael hides the girl and this results in a very violent ending when Ishmael defends her from Ama’s followers. The film becomes a blood-spattered action flick that seems to be Somes’ tribute in Quentin Tarantino’s “Kill Bill”.

There’s just an air of unreality about the whole thing and never for a moment do we get truly involved in the plight of Ishmael. He can very well help the girl escape surreptiously, so why did he have to wait for Ama’s cohorts to come and attack his home? Even the way the actors interpreted the characters they’re playing seem so unreal so we’re not surprised that this film didn’t even win any Cinema One acting award.