Existential Brownouts in Joel Ruiz’s Baby Angelo (2008) July 14, 2008Posted by Richard Bolisay in Asian Films, Cinemalaya, Indie Sine, Noypi.
Directed by Joel Ruiz
Written by Joel Ruiz and Abi Aquino
Cast: Jojit Lorenzo, Katherine Luna, Ces Quesada
In Competition, 2008 Cinemalaya Independent Film Festival
X plans a party. Y agrees to come. But he hates coming to the party alone. So Y invites A to W to come with him. When they arrive, X is surprised. The food is not enough; the house has little space; and the ventilation is worse than a cramped neighborhood. They stay – – just for respect – – and buy food for themselves.
Baby Angelo suffers from the same embarrassing situation – – it is a forced agreement between the film and the audience, with the objective of finishing the film just to say that one’s judgment is valid. It strains too much to present situations that seem to connect with each other, thematic coherence per se, but fails largely in sustaining interest, what more to polish the narrative and provide us with emotional gratification after introducing numerous and lifeless characters. The communal responsibility is clear but it doesn’t look real – – yeah, that must be the point – – the police don’t care, the tenants don’t care, the videoke addicts eat their silence – – but none holds up. The idea is there – – it starts like an abortion story and ends not like one, landing on a different perspective, possibly on a much larger scale – – but unluckily for us who enjoy eating meringue for quite some time, beyond the sweetness, all we get is air and a toothache. *