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Sunday, July 10, 2016

Movie Review: Ma’ Rosa

Image courtesy of www.en.wikipedia.org

Main Cast: Jaclyn Jose, Julio Diaz, Andi Eigenmann, 
Director: Brillante Mendoza
Rating: R-16
Released By: Centerstage Productions thru Solar Pictures

Ma’ Rosa conveys the traumatic predicament of a poor family locked in the hands of corrupt police officers. The film will shock you and anger you.

Jacklyn Jose's exceptional performance as Ma’ Rosa Reyes could have been given more screen time. But as expected, amidst such a small flaw, she was able to deliver. How? It’s for you to find out.

Brillante Mendoza brings the story of a married couple who lives in a depressed shantytown. Rosa operates a neighborhood convenience store (locally known as sari-sari store) with her husband Nestor (Julio Diaz). They supplement their meager income by using their store as a front to peddle ice or “shabu” (a form of crystal methampethamine), an illegal substance, sold in sachet sizes.

Every centavo counts for the impoverished family. The couple maximizes everything in order to survive, renting out their karaoke set to neighbors for added income. They have every reason to as they have three children to feed, with one daughter Raquel (Andi Eigenmann) who they send to college.

Unfortunately, a neighbor tipped them off to the police.

On the eve of Nestor’s birthday, the police come rushing to their house to arrest them, taking several pieces of evidence. It is at this point that the movie reveals the ugly reality about the problem of drugs and the even uglier and more sickening truth about corruption in the local police hierarchy.

At the police station, the couple are interrogated. Totally disregarding protocol, Police Officer Lopez (Baron Geisler) asked Rosa and Nestor to choose: Jail time for the non bailable crime, or cough up 200 hundred thousand pesos to fix everything so they can be freed. The money of course goes to the pockets of the arresting officers. The ugliness has just begun.

The way the officers conduct the negotiations speaks a lot about how low these greedy suckers have become. They threaten the couple and have made every minute of their ordeal like a journey to hell.

“ Ma’ Rosa” reveals how small-time drug-offenders are hostaged by police extorting a payout. They ask Rosa about her cahoots so that they can milk them, too. Arrest cases are not recorded in the police logbook to conceal the deal.

The couple’s three children - Raquel (Andy Eigenmann), Jackson (Felix Roco) and Erwin (Jomari Angeles) are asked to help bail out their parents. They headed out quickly, keeping in mind the urgency of the task at hand. Beggars can’t be choosers and the circumstances by which they subjected themselves into to be able to produce the money can soften even the most callous and hardhearted out there.

Indie movie veteran, Jaclyn Jose, the beleaguered, hardworking mother Rosa proves to be the strength of the family. Isabel Lopez and Mercedez Cabral have bit roles, but their performances impact big time. Julio Diaz as a slouch man of the house fits him to a T. The stolid performances of the three actors playing the couple’s children seem to convey the children’s quiet endurance.

For the uninitiated and untrained viewer, you need patience and an open mind when watching movies like this. Be prepared for the unexpected, you may get bored or alienated with the film’s overall make up. But rest assured that every minute spent is knowledge gained.

With director Mendoza at the helm, from a screenplay of Troy Espiritu, Ma’ Rosa plays out more as a documentary than a story. Poverty and its ruthless depiction, its overall ugliness shot in one of the country’s poorest communities.

The film will move you by the injustice suffered by the destitute, the system by which the poor victims get victimized once more, where drugs mean poverty of life and a poverty of ambition.

The movie is timely as the new administration is hell-bent on eradicating these society’s menace, whoever gets hit – hook, line and sinker.

Ma' Rosa is a 2016 Filipino drama film selected to compete for the Palme d'Or at the 2016 Cannes Film Festival. At Cannes, Jaclyn Jose won the award for Best Actress.

It also stars Baron Geisler, Mark Anthony Fernandez, Mon Confiado, and Neil Ryan Seseing – now showing in cinemas.

21 comments:

  1. There are rumors that Jaclyn Jose's bagging the Best Actress award is questionable coz wala naman daw sya halos eksenang matindi to merit the award.

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    Replies
    1. Donald Sutherland said that Jaclyn's role may be short, but she gave a brilliant performance sa character niya.

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    2. Agree 2:58. Her eyes and facial movements did it all. Galing!

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    3. 11:29 huli ksa balita beh

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    4. Define "eksenang matindi" nga. Have you watched the movie? 'Coz I did. And that's the whole point of Jaclyn Jose winning the Best Actress award, she doesn't need to have those "matinding eksena" she doesn't even have to speak 'coz her eyes says it all! Yan problema sa ating mga Pinoy, when someone achieved something, we are always there not to be proud or to support but to question what they have achieved. I'm pretty sure those who understand what REAL acting is, those who appreciates REAL acting and hindi lang puro hype, will see how amazing Jaclyn Jose' acting skills is.

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  2. Very well written FP!

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  3. with the current spate of drug related summary execution and killings this would had been a very short movie. swerte si ms jacklyn jose. thanks to duterte for taking the pilipines back to the dark ages where people gets executed and killed because pontius pilate says so. slow clap.

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  4. I don't think this passes as a movie review as it gave away the story and the actual review was only a paragraph ling. A movie can be reviewed without giving away spoilers like what they do in Rotten Tomatoes in the US.

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    Replies
    1. I agree. It's more like a plot summary. Reviews are supposed to be strongly opinion-based and there wasn't much written about the writer's opinions on the story, acting and execution.

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  5. Wow! The timing! Kung sanay ka na sa Conspiracy theories ang unang maiisip mo e kinokondisyon na ang tao from movies to media ng gagawin ng next admin (which is Digong)! Pero like nasa news yung mag amang taga pasay lumaban at pinatay sa loob ng presinto while yung mga taiwanese na nahuli sa pque at las pinas with worth 1.5B of shabu or 300kg e buhay na buhay at iningatan ang HUMAN RIGHTS!

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    Replies
    1. This will the start of the long string of I told you so about duterte

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  6. Thanks fp! Gives me the urge to watch it sa sinehan hnd thru piracy.

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  7. Very timely. Now i understand why there are many small-time drug pushers who are surrendering. And why there are some who have been killed already.

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  8. Flop ito for sure

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  9. I watched it. The movie is sooooo boring. Di ko na tinapos, not my type

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    Replies
    1. You read the disclaimer, right? The movie is not for everyone.

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  10. syempre nood kami ng friends ko kasi kelangan nga suportahan ang "quality films" kuno para madami pa gumawa ekek. sa sinehan wala pa ata kaming 10 na nanood (as usual). ito nung ramadan holiday. para sa amin, ni isa sa kanila walang deserving ng award, not jacklyn, not brillante, not the movie itself. puro lakad ng lakad yung eksena, yung tipong pag inedit mo lahat ng scene na naglalakad yung character, siguro kalahati na yung nawala sa pelikula. SLIGHTLY naging interesting yung movie nung part na ngangalap na ng pondo yung mga bata... AND NO, hindi po kami mahilig manood ng mga "typical MMFF" movies.

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    Replies
    1. i guess kasama ako sa 10 na yan nung holiday hahaha. was i impressed of jaclyn jose? nope. nope and another nope. perhaps na impress si donald sutherland sa ENSEMBLE ACTING kaya binigay ki jaclyn ang award. swerte lang niya.

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  11. Wow the plot is so fresh! It's never before seen and attempted in pilipines cinema ! Grabe Kaya pala humakot ng award at naging phenomenal blockbusters of 2016 itong ma rosa. Galing hahhaha

    *sarcasm detector exploded*

    Hahahaaha

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  12. Bat nanalo ej hindi naman nasampal ng totoo si jacklyn

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  13. Ang pelikulang puro lakad lang ng lakad ang mga tao. Lol

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