MMFF 2018

When I saw this year’s list of MMFF films (I think only a week before the festival opened); I told myself I’m only going to watch three movies – Rainbow’s Sunset (because LGBT themed), Aurora (because it’s intriguing and I miss Batanes), and Mary, Marry Me (because I love Toni-Sam movies). And based on the awards that the first two films got, I’m glad I made this choice.

Rainbow’s Sunset

The only LGBT themed film won the Best Picture award; and the sad thing was, only a few days after showing and the cinemas are pulling it out because the other movies are bringing more sales to them. It’s understandable since most of the viewers during this season are children and they would rather watch a comedy that won’t really challenge your way of thinking.

Rainbow’s Sunset was a beautiful film about how an elderly man would spend the latter part of his life to care for his best friend (and lover) who was terminally ill. The problem was, his was a life that is open to the public because he was once a senator; and oh, he is married to a woman and had three children (who have stories and problems of their own).

The story and the actors were great; there were moments when we raised our eyebrows because of the dialogues among the senator’s children – seeing that two of them still have closed minds; but these were later redeemed by the explanations provided by the other daughter.

Was the Filipino audience ready for this kind of movie? It’s about time they become ready. I give this a 7/8.

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AURORA

I don’t know what to make of Aurora. It was a good movie; but people are polarised about it. I guess it’s because they thought they were about to watch a scary movie. If that was the movie’s purpose, then, I’m afraid they did not deliver. But if they only meant to tell a story, a beautifully filmed and scored one, then they are successful.

They have an ensemble of great actors – most are known from various critically acclaimed indie films that they starred in; so you know that they wouldn’t disappoint.

Aurora is a different experience. The opening scene alone would tell you that this is not your scary movie with pretty face lead. So I guess a 6/8 is a good score.

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Mary, Marry Me

The movie stars real life sisters Alex and Toni Gonzaga. In the movie, they were really close when they were young, but when they lost their parents, Toni had to make a hard decision of sending her sister to her aunt in the States for a better life (sure). And then they become estranged.

Toni had to go on living and hoping that one day, she can fulfil her promise of going to her sister and bringing her back home. She fell in love, the guy proposed to her, but she said no because her priority was her promise.

The guy goes to the States, depressed, and by some strange twist of fate meets Alex (oh, they’re both named Mary here). Alex enters into a relationship with him, fast forward to some years to the present, and they are getting married. For some reason, they choose to go home and get married here. They hire a wedding planner – GASP! It was Toni, who decided to leave her call center job to start this business.

Toni and her ex realise that they haven’t moved on yet; and things get complicated. By the way, in the movie, it didn’t unfold this way. The story was told through flashbacks and jumps from the past to the present. What happens in the end? I won’t spoil.

Alex was just annoying; I don’t find her brand of comedy funny at all. Toni and Sam have lost their magic; probably it’s because of the many years they’ve spent apart. The movie also had references from Toni’s previous films (some were funny, some were forced).

Is it a must see? I guess so. Better than the remaining MMFF films; and it was graded B after all. I’d say a 4/8 for me.

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