It was my first time to watch a movie in solitary. At first it was a lonely idea having been used to watch with company of friends, family or special someone. But with my interest to the film I was able to convinced myself, why not make a try. And that film who got me ‘de-virginized’ is the Eugene Domingo starrer “Ang Babae sa Septic Tank” directed by Marlon Rivera and written by Chris Martinez.
Viewed last Saturday in SM Megamall Cinema, I was lucky not to experience what other early watchers have. Although the balcony was full packed, I was able to find nice seat on the lower area. As I seated and waited for the film to start several thoughts came out of my mind. Will my expectations with this movie be achieved? Is this film really worth it for me to watch it alone? What are those people in the back doing? Will the cinema became SRO later?
The movie came out late for some couple of minutes as it was scheduled at 3:30 but it didn’t start on that. At the onset, I got disappointed because the picture is kinda blurred. In fact I overheard someone saying “3D ba yan”. I couldn’t laugh out loud cause I don’t want to get into trouble so I just smiled and agreed with his thought. I don’t know if it’s with the film or just the screen of the cinema that it came out somewhat not clear. But as the movie progresses the resolution gets better and it started to fill in my expectations.
Originally slated in Cinemalaya Film Festival which features and honors Indie Film productions, Ang Babae sa Septic Tank is an escape from the usual Indie film genre. Although it still showed the signature indie shots of poverty stricken area in the metro having an opening shot of a child doing her thing on the street and people walking on filthy alleys of slum areas, the main theme of the film is a spoof to indie film makers who capitalizes on poverty as their ticket to international film festivals and recognitions.
Helmed by the seasoned comedienne Eugene Domingo with the bankable newcomers JM De Guzman and Kean Cipriano and support of Cai Cortes, the film tackled how Director Rainier (Cipriano) and producer Bingbong (De Guzman) with their PA Jocelyn (Cortes) handled the pressure of coming-up with a film that will take them to Cannes, Brussels and even to the Oscars. Their film project “Walang-Wala” tells the story of Mila who have 7 kids and are only fed by a single pack of noodles. Their plight will lead Mila to trade one of her child into white slavery. And that is where the story of this film repeatedly evolved.
The best about this film is that it is not boring. The writer and director brilliantly executed the story to bring in different concepts that kept the viewer entertained. I loved how they managed to abuse the specific “crucial” scenes of Walang-Wala and tackled it in different approaches as immortalized in the movie thru daydreams of Jocelyn. From heavy drama, to semi-documentary/action type and then musical. The musical concept for me is so wonderful it kept everyone laughing. Can you image people in the slums dancing, and belting out songs about poverty and their situation. That for me is one of the best scenes in the entire movie. Another part of the film that made me laugh is the contract signing scene at the house of Eugene, it really showed how brilliant an actress she is especially when she did the 3 levels of acting;The Elevator acting, The TV Patrol acting and As Is Where Is acting. It also showed the quality of actors Cipriano and De Guzman are because they were able to carry the scene well opposite Domingo.But still the highlight of the whole story is the septic tank scene wherein Eugene, instead of her double, accidentally dropped on the septic tank. And without any dialogue with just scoring on the background and her facial expression, it marked.
After watching it I never doubt why it was given the recognitions and accolades on the Cinemalaya Film Festival. The sounds are good, the music is also nice, the acting of course is remarkable especially Eugene who really deserved the Best Actress trophy and the story is just awesome. Although I didn’t like the lighting cause there are scenes that are too dark, still the movie is worth it. As I’ve said earlier it’s an escape to the usual indie genre and the film makers did great in coming up with this concept. And I will not doubt if it will reap recognitions also in international festivals and live up to the dreams of Rainier, Bingbong and Jocelyn’s for “Walang-Wala”.