<script async src="//pagead2.googlesyndication.com/pagead/js/adsbygoogle.js"></script> <!-- Showbiz Portal Bottom 1 300x250, created 10/15/10 --> <ins class="adsbygoogle" style="display:inline-block;width:300px;height:250px" data-ad-client="ca-pub-1272644781333770" data-ad-slot="2530175011"></ins> <script> (adsbygoogle = window.adsbygoogle || []).push({}); </script>
Mario Bautista, has been with the entertainment industry for more than 4 decades. He writes regular columns for People's Journal and Malaya.

Jul 25, 2012

Cinemalaya Movie Review: Diablo - Sleep Inducing Exercise In Boredom

WE ENJOYED Mes de Guzman’s debut flick, “Daan Patungong Kalimugtong”, a straight-forward story about two poor mountain kids who have to hike through hills and rivers before they can reach their school. His second work was not as successful, “Sa Kanto ng Ulap at Lupa”, another story about impoverished kids told in a ho-hum manner.

In “Diablo”, he tells the story of an aging mother (Ama Quiambao) and her five sons. Three are played by professional actor: Roeder Camanag as the prodigal son who wastes their mom’s money on booze, women and gambling; Arnold Reyes as a farmer who doesn’t want to talk to his mom at all; and Carlo Aquino as a cult leader who is garbed like Jesus Christ. The other two, a miner and a soldier, are played by ethnic looking non-actors who speak fluent Ilocano so you know they’re really from the place where the film was shot, Nueva Vizcaya. The professional actors speak in Tagalog.

Just like in ‘Kalayaan’, nothing much happens in the movie. We see Ama living by herself in an old house: cooking, eating alone, listening to radio with an announcer who keeps on plugging Leonides Restaurant, praying, then going to bed but she cannot sleep because there’s an eerie shadow that watches over her. It’s never explained who or what this shadow is.

Again, we don’t invest emotionally in any of the characters so we don’t care what happens to them. We just don’t know where they’re coming from as all of them are underwritten. Why is Carlo acting like a hermit? We don’t know, so when he gets stabbed by someone, we don’t care. We’re also not told why Arnold doesn’t talk to his mom. The reason for their rift is not established, but in the end, when he cries in front of his mom and there seems to be forgiveness between them, Ama finally gets to sleep soundly with a very loud snore. And the shadow that stands by the foot of her bed is no longer there. The end.

We kept on hoping all throughout the movie that there will be a good pay off as it concludes, but there’s none in this badly photographed, badly lighted movie. It’s up to you to draw your own conclusions on what the movie and the title “Diablo” is all about. Maybe they can tell the movie in a more straightforward manner, but they want it to look more profound than it really is, so they make it more difficult for us to watch and decipher.

We just like to thank Ayala Cinemas for adding Trinoma to the outlets of Cinemalaya entries. It's such a joy to watch the entries here. No noisy crowds. The viewers are well behaved. The theatre seats are so comfortable. The screen and sound equipment are great. The films start on time. The venue is so accessible for those living in QC like us. Very convenient. When you're hungry, since it's a mall, you can go around and look for a good resto as there are so many good eating places available. What more can you ask for? We love Trinoma.