MOVIE REVIEW #14: MA’ ROSA

Today’s Friday so it’s time for another review post! I’ll do a movie review this week about a Filipino Indie Film titled ‘Ma’ Rosa‘. Here goes!

+Jaclyn Jose’s acting                                        ×Story completion
+Jaclyn Jose eating fish balls                         ×Characterization
+Raid Scene

Poverty and crimes are the two usual targets of Filipino Indie films so one would expect that this one’s just the same as the others. I’ve seen a few Indie Films but this one’s got to be my favorite, so far.

Ma ROSA 4

Directed by the award winning Brillante Ma Mendoza, the story follows a family who owns a sari-sari store located in a poor neighborhood in which the parents also discreetly sell ‘ice’ or cyrstal meth to make ends meet. The monotonous story telling was shaken up when the cops raided their house and hauled the parents off. Not the cleanest bunch of policemen, they offered not to jail them in exchange of 50,000 pesos. The story then followed their 3 kids (Felix Roco, Andie Eigenmann, and Jomari Angeles) finding their own ways of getting money for their parents.

Jaclyn’s acting has the most effect on me. I even wondered if she really speaks that way in real life. Families living in poor neighborhoods usually speaks with a foul mouth and she’s able to portray this effortlessly. Her facial expression and structure shows a typical momma who has been living a hard life for most of her life. One scene that’s very popular about this film is the one where Rosa was eating her fishballs. A moment of respite, she was silently eating her fishballs, looking at the people around her, and crying. Her cry doesn’t seem a happy one, but one that eminates sadness, regret, heartache, envy.

Ma ROSA 2

One thing I wasn’t happy about was the rogue policemen. I was expecting more from their character knowing that these actors are well-known in my country. I thought they’d be given a good exposure but nadah. They could’ve been easily replaced by anyone who can act. The only things that were established here were 1) they use the drugs they confiscated for themselves 2) they are part of a very corrupt bunch of policemen. Mendoza didn’t have to cast well-known actors such as Mark Anthony Fernandez and Baron Geisler for this role. By having them as policemen, one would automatically expect they’d put more than basic needs in the film but there’s nothing special about them. They’re just a bunch of corrupt policemen milking the less fortunate Rosa and Nestor.

Also, Jomar (The Source) was suddenly left out of the story. If he wasn’t that important, Mendoza could’ve just killed him. He need not involve the wife for the policemen to get more money because eventually, he didn’t say what happened to Jomar and the wife. The last appearance from Jomar was the one where he was tied to the bed post, smoking. As for the wife, it was the time she was led out of the police station by one of the policemen, apparently giving her ‘ideas’ how to be able to conjure the amount of money needed to free her husband.

 

Ma ROSA 3

CTTO

 

If I recommend this film to my mom, she’d definitely hate it. With the shaky cam + a lot of moving going on, she’d probably vomit and most likely will get a headache in a minute or two. I don’t know why but this type of cinematography appeals to me. Mind you, I haaaate those American Films that tells a story using video footages. I just can’t stand them! Maybe because I find it idiotic if someone would still hold the camera just to shoot his friend being eaten by beasts instead of just running away for dear life.

I know that films always have a script to follow but one thing that I always think about whenever I watch Indie Films is if the actors are free to ad-lib. I always thought Indie Films are low-budgeted films which stars unknown actors, and are usually sappy. However, in my opinion, these Indie actors are far more pleasing to the eye than those acting on screen and television. The acting of the latter ones are very much exaggerated and somewhat comical at times. The Indie actors, on the other hand, show a very raw emotion, no exaggeration, and it’s as if you’re just watching your neighbor go about their own lives.

Overall, I liked the film and will recommend it for you to see. 🙂

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