Watch Me Entertain Myself!

Sacha Guitry once said, "You can pretend to be serious, but you can't pretend to be witty." Oh yes, I'm the great pretender.
(pilot episode: 20 January 2004)

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

One Out Of 100

Watching the film 100 should be one of the things in your “to-do-before-you-die” list. So if I were you, when this film opens tomorrow (Dec. 3), I’d line up and watch it immediately or else. Who knows, you might get hit by a truck or something. Not convinced? Read on:

(copied from Chris’ Fezbuk)
* * * * *
Film Development Council of the Philippines
Summation of CEB members’ comments on “100”
Grade: A
Martinez-Rivera Films

Joyce (Mylene Dizon) finds out that she is on the brink of death. Her cancer has spread to other organs of her body and there is nothing much that can be done. What does a person in the prime of her life do in this instance? How does one face death? How can one make her dying a graceful exit? Joyce does not want to be a burden to anyone and so she makes a list of things to do – from the more mundane ones, like packing her things in the office, making funeral arrangements and “shopping” for a casket, to the more personal ones, like telling her mom and finding Emil, her long lost ex-boyfriend. Her Post-It’s, things to do that must have added to a hundred, are taken off the wall one by one, except for the difficult task of telling her mom.

100 is an entry in the 2008 Cinemalaya Independent Film Festival, is well written piece. The members of the board rave over the screenplay – “finely crafted story,” “painfully beautiful,” “the scenes are touching without being too melodramatic,” “funny and moving,” “believable characters in a believable drama.” One member, though, notes that the story is moved by the characters singular acceptance of her condition from beginning to end, making the series of scenes look like routine. However, the dramatic moments are examples of excellent writing, notably the scene between Joyce and her mom (Tessie Tomas) when the mother finds out about her daughter’s condition; the funny and equally tender scenes between Joyce and her best friend (Eugene Domingo); the hospital scene between Joyce and her brother (Simon Ibarra); the hospital scene with Joyce and Emil, her ex-boyfriend (Ryan Eigenmann); even the scene with Joyce and her secretary, as Joyce bequeaths her laptop, is funny and touching. These good scenes flow from a well-written screenplay.

Working on his own screenplay, Chris Martinez has directed this film with certainty and control. The members of the board are unanimous in complimenting his measured direction – “brilliant,” “excellent,” “impressive.” One member writes that Chris Martinez manifests in “100” a “sensitive and imaginative” direction, “admirably disciplined.”

The production elements, like cinematography, music, sound, production design, and editing, all contribute to the over-all accomplishment of this film. However, the cinematography of the Hong Kong scenes and the Enchanted Kingdom sequence suffers in comparison to the main body of the film. The music score reinforces the dramatic moments without getting in the way: but, one member notes, the song for the end credits seems too mainstream.

The performances are excellent. Eugene Domingo as the best friend and Tessie Tomas as the mother have their dramatic moments which they accomplish beautifully. But “100” is without a doubt, Mylene Dizon’s film. Joyce, the cancer stricken woman, lives on the screen as a complex person. Dizon’s performance, one member writes, is “outstanding in every aspect of cinema acting, to a level rarely seen.”

“100” is a beautiful piece of work, a fine cinematic experience. The Cinema Evaluation Board is unanimous in granting it an “A” grading.



joaqui_miguel said...

I can't wait to watch this! I'll watch this on the first day of showing even though I watched this already in UP.

I will again watch this with a couple of friends. Then again with another friend. Then with another friend again until I coerced, err, convinced all of my friends to watch this! :)

MkSurf8 said...

i'm excited to watch this ;-)

Julius said...

hahahaizzz!!! kung nasa pinas lang ako, 100 times ko syang panonoorin. interview pa lang nila McVie sa diretor talagang mamamangha ka. funny and yet very intilligent!

dubai, uae