Maskara (Laurice Guillen, 2011) July 17, 2011Posted by Richard Bolisay in Asian Films, Cinemalaya, Noypi.
Written by Irina Feleo
Directed by Laurice Guillen
Cast: Tirso Cruz III. Shamaine Buencamino, Ina Feleo, Rez Cortez
When film critic Philbert Dy from Click the City said that “no criticism can touch Maskara,” he must have implied that hurling bad words towards the movie was by all means inappropriate, that criticism, in a way, could only provide a misleading interpretation of the film. I may disagree with that, but I have to acknowledge that Maskara is actually Guillen’s best work for a long time, and by best I am afraid that it has to stand in comparison with her awful movies of recent (Santa Santita, I Love You Goodbye, Sa ‘Yo Lamang) and the contrast gives it a rather much obvious appreciation.
The personal nature of the film, which commemorates the life and art of Guillen’s husband Johnny Delgado, is sweeping. Many personalities recount their experiences with Delgado, most of which are funny, sad, and uplifting, and these parts are the most interesting moments in Maskara. All these actors, from veterans like Liza Lorena and Ricky Davao to young ones like Miles Ocampo and Rap Fernandez, paint a picture of Johnny Delgado’s life at its best and worst, memories of working with him cherished, marking some impressive turning points in their careers.
Sometimes it’s vexing when Guillen cuts their stories and focuses instead on Ina Feleo’s narration, which is good in itself but somehow loses its grip because of repetitiveness. However, it’s admirable how Guillen adheres to a bit of fiction instead of easily giving in to the feel of a documentary, Tirso Cruz III playing Delgado’s equivalent, Shamaine Buencamino as hers. The script, written by Ina, reeks of platitudes, but it’s hard not to appreciate them, especially when you feel that she’s actually talking to her father directly, expressing her love for him. Interestingly, a power failure interrupted the screening for a few minutes, and for all we know it might be Johnny Delgado playing a trick on us, being his usual mischievous self, letting out a hearty laugh upon seeing our watery eyes.