So I got to see two Cinemalaya films this year. Cinemalaya 2014 is in full swing and so far, one was ambitious, well-written and thought of, but poorly executed and showed the inexperience of the first-time director, while the second was a truly magnificent crime/thriller that pulled no punches. It was smart and tight and well-told.
K’na, the Dreamweaver showed off Ida Anita del Mundo’s inexperience because she wrote a lovely, lovely T’Boli legend but didn’t have the directorial know-how to make it feel as epic as it was written whereas The Janitor of Mike Tuviera was just a showcase of a fantastic director with a great production and creative team and an excellent cast putting out fantastic scene after fantastic scene. It was tremendous.
Here are my reviews:
I had a different title for the K’na, the Dreamweaver review but I think the editorial board changed it to fit but I guess they didn’t get that it was the storytelling that I had issues with. I meant to say the story was lovely, but the storytelling needed more fine-tuning. I was kind of shocked when I saw it myself.
But, man, The Janitor was really something else. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a Filipino film in this genre that I feel could really compete and be shown abroad before. It’s so good and so tight and so well done. Dennis Trillo is spectacular. I’ve always known he was a good actor but to see him in this and doing such an amazing job in making his hit man for the police so believable is just a joy to watch.
Regardless of K’na, the Dreamweaver‘s flaws, for a New Breed film by a first time director, I applaud it for its vision and guts. If these two are any indication of what the Cinemalaya is like this year, then I’m so happy it is keeping the tradition alive of being THE Philippine Film Festival to watch out for.