Till Dearth Do Us Part in Sakal, Sakali, Saklolo (Jose Javier Reyes, 2007) December 13, 2008Posted by Richard Bolisay in Asian Films, Noypi.
Written and directed by Jose Javier Reyes
Cast: Judy Ann Santos, Ryan Agoncillo, Gina Pareño, Gloria Diaz
Sakal, Sakali, Saklolo is only half as good as its predecessor, or perhaps a-fourth, I don’t know, I was never really good at exacting fractional comparisons, but it is surely less appealing than Kasal, Kasali, Kasalo. Not that I have grown tired of Judy Ann Santos’s effortless quibbles, she is as stellar as ever, aside from the fact that her presence demands undivided attention, but Reyes has succumbed to tiring gimmicks in bloating his plot until nothing else really matters, nothing but the mismatch of the century in another channel. Imagine falling in love with someone and slowly sketching your dreams with him, and incidentally you are a movie star and he is a popular young actor, not really at the tip of this business’s iceberg but one of the faces that you can easily recognize in a glance, and you both work for a network that, above every one, knows how to commodify even the most absurd and turn it into a smashing box-office, and you are so sweet that the Kris Aquino neurons in our stupid brains await when the two of you will tie the knot, as if it is the most important revelation in the world, as if it will alleviate the famine in the provinces, as if marriage is the last thing on earth that a couple needs, and you both agreed to make a movie, what could be less convincing than a real-life couple on screen, what minor difference between the real and the reel cannot excite our imaginations, other than food the best consolation to an empty stomach is gossip, now that’s Filipino culture, and it became a hit, so there’s this sequel and more than enough savings before the two of them settle down. Now that’s one perk of being famous. Agoncillo’s geekiness complements Santos’s fluffiness, and when they clash it can only be a bolt of thundering typhoons. Reyes vows that he will not direct the next if there will be another one – – what wordplay is there left? – – good for him, good for us. Mute the film and there will be nothing left but hollow images, hollow narrative, and a hollow truth that married life can never be happy without people, and that people can never be happy without married life. It still works, but the propensity to overdo it is very much felt. It is like eating tenderloin stored in the fridge two days after it was cooked, the flavor is still there but you feel that it is both old and cold; never mind, it still tastes good.