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Mariposa sa Hawla ng Gabi (Richard Somes, 2012) December 11, 2012

Posted by Richard Bolisay in Asian Films, Cinema One, Noypi.
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mariposaa

Written and directed by Richard Somes
Cast: Erich Gonzales, Mark Gil, Alfred Vargas

Mariposa sa Hawla ng Gabi has the makings of a fine action movie, but along the way it is hindered by its tireless underpinning of mood, oftentimes forgetting that it has a story to tell, which is a pity because its narrative is captivating. A young woman, played by Erich Gonzales with a mix of charm and grit, sets out to explore the sudden death of her sister. As she seeks help from people, she gets caught in a warren of corrupt men and their evil activities. Opposite her is an eccentric with a horrible obsession, a crazy character played by Mark Gil, and the film builds up until the two of them meet and eventually part ways, with blood in their hands and faces. Noir is a rarity in contemporary local cinema, and Mariposa is the genre at its grimiest: it reeks of sludge and vomit, every scene feeling like a note from the underworld, a page from a maddening novel on anarchy. Director Richard Somes is easily enamored by visuals, but he has a problem making the scenes work together. Although Mariposa has its share of gripping moments—narrative crests scattered in the beginning, middle, and end—it becomes weak due to his disregard for pacing, the potboiler never quite boiling because the meat turns out to be half-cooked, the soup lacking a pinch of salt.

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1. Giuseppe Lippi - April 30, 2013

Oh no, sir, I saw it recently and am still under its “influence”. because MARIPOSA is not a simple noir film, it is a demon of a movie which mixes elements of the darkly fantastic, the realistic and the obsessive. Its pace is captivating exactly because it is not at all “a thriller” but an experience in extremes told without the emphasis so common in Western commercial cinema. This is for real, as the hellish promenade it invites you to make… and never return. It has a certain bizarre poetry, other than chills!


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