<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.

Dec 8, 2012

'Alagwa' Movie Review: Jericho Rosales Gives A Knockout Performance

JERICHO ROSALES gives an absolutely knockout performance as a young widower trying to raise his only child (Bugoy Carino) all by himself in the indie film that won praises in Korea, “Alagwa”. We now have another best actor nominee in our list after Sam Concepcion in “I Do Bidoo”, Eddie Garcia in “Bwakaw”, Alfred Vargas in “Supremo” and Aga Muhlach in “Of All the Things”.

Jericho has so many touching scenes with Bugoy (who also played his son in “I’ll Be There”), most particularly that sequence where he reprimands the boy after stabbing a bully in his school with a pencil. This scene made us squirm in our seat. It was so beautifully and movingly staged, also that scene the next morning when Jericho prepares breakfast for his son to make amends and tells him “Kiss mo ko”, pointing to his cheek. This is absolutely priceless.

The movie is actually an advocacy film against human trafficking. Jericho’s son is kidnapped in a mall and the scene where the boy is taken by an older boy is so chilling because it has happened so many times in real life as captured on the CCTV of some malls. But the film loses its credibility when Jericho suddenly drops the police and decides to put the law in his own hands like Liam Neeson in “Taken”.

We’re really wondering why he didn’t involve the cops when they’re very cooperative with him, especially the chief, Leo Martinez, who could have helped him in locating his missing son more effectively. It’s also hard to believe that the pimp, Smokey Manaloto, will suddenly trust him and take him to the lair of the syndicate where kidnapped children are mercilessly beaten up and tortured.

There are actually many other questions that the film left unanswered. Writer-Director Ian Lorenos (“Slow Fade”, “The Leaving”) presumes that viewers are mind readers and they themselves will just supply all the missing information in the narrative. The final scene where Jericho is reunited with his missing son, now a blind beggar somewhere, is a heartbreaker. How we wish the incidents leading to that tearjerking final encounter were given a better buildup to make it completely satisfying. But you cannot fault the acting of Jericho and Bugoy. They hold the film together brilliantly and their scenes together are already worth the prices of admission.