Saan Patungo Ang Daan Patungong Kalimugtong? (Mes de Guzman, 2005) September 4, 2007Posted by Richard Bolisay in Asian Films, Noypi, UP Screening.
Originally published in Digital Buryong on July 4, 2007
Title Translation: Where does the Road to Kalimugtong lead to?
English Title: The Road to Kalimugtong
Director and Writer: Mes de Guzman
Cast: Analyn Bangsi-il, Rhenuel Ordoño, Hallen Sumingwa, Jay Bassig, Joey Almoete
I understand why most people hate slow-paced films. No action. No drama. Too stationary. No progression. Less character development. So artsy-fartsy. And as my friend told me after seeing Kubrador, “I hate a-day-in-a-life films.” In this case, should we blame these filmmakers for picturing life itself?
What I just don’t get is the idea that they are called ‘dragging.’ Does it mean that these films are forcing you to fathom each character’s motivation and how it affects the plot and the narrative? Or taking it literally, do they drag you from one scene to another?
But the way I see it, all films are ‘dragging’ in nature. Each one of them is guilty of hauling along its audience in its world view or political stance. I strongly believe that pacing is the most important aspect of a film. The reason why Gil Portes’ movies (I resort not to call them films) are failures is because his works are irresponsibly paced and do I still have to say it? He’s overly hypocritical.
Having said that, Ang Daan Patungong Kalimugtong gains my vote as the finest film of 2005. Mes de Guzman’s indulgence in his shots, actors, and narrative is impressive. He’s in full control. His treatment compensates with the story which might seem stereotypical after the success of Iranian children films (Children of Heaven, The White Balloon, and The Color of Paradise), Batad, and Mga Munting Tinig. No question, Kalimugtong is from a different universe.
As The Smiths perfectly explains it, There is a light that never goes out. The Philippine cinema is now alive and kicking. Hope to see more of these films. * * * *