as promised, a review of the movie "Rosario" (i got to watch it last night at the Gateway Cinema)
i had high expectations of the film although i was disappointed ... in a good way. at some parts the film felt like a glossy indy production due to minimal use of music to think that it was set in the roaring 20's but then again, it's understandable since radio doesn't exist then in prominence then as it happened only more or less than a decade later. and if ever the folks wanted some music, they have to play the gramophone. am i the only one who still find the gramophone cute despite the proliferation of mp3 players? hahaha
WARNING: SPOILERS AHEAD
the film began with a scene from last year's massive flood in which an old man named Jesus (played by Dolphy) was shown trying to save his mother Rosario's pictures from the flood. those pictures were very precious to him since they're the only concrete memories left of her mother. later on, he used these pictures to introduce himself to his mother's family who ejected her from the household due to a crime she committed in the past.
it turned out that his nephew, Manny V. Pangilinan (MVP for short, who never considered himself a half-nephew) had been searching for him too since he was intrigued behind the reason why Jesus' mother and Manny's grandmother was thrown out of the house and was never allowed to return. Jesus' narration of how Rosario lived her life became the meat of the story.
the thing i like most about this film is how Albert Martinez (the film's director) dedicated to the American occupation by showing how some Filipinos were easily influenced by Hollywood despite being under Spanish occupation for 3 centuries. those who didn't find any problems with having the Americans are either economic pragmatists like Rosario's father or liberal minded people like one of the guests at the dinner that Rosario's parents hosted who's a big fan of "Charleston dance". on the other hand, there are traditionalists who didn't like the Americans, claiming that "the Charleston dance" is proof of how immoral are they (i wonder what is that "Charleston dance"). Vicente, the plantation administrator of Rosario's father, is one who recited a poem in Spanish despite the presence of American diplomats among the guests. it infuriated the Americans and left the dinner without saying a word.
Rosario liked Vicente a lot that despite the age difference (she's 18, he's 35), she seduced him into a relationship with her.
(to be concluded ...)
EDITMy fave film review of Rosario
i admit that i was a little disappointment at the lack of nudity and substantive love scenes ... okay let's call them sex scenes since not all of them are about love. she later on had an affair with her cousin's boyfriend (double betrayal) and was exiled to Hong Kong (when Hong Kong was still a dumping site for the American regime) after she was found with her lover guilty of adultery.
and watching Rosario hear of her sentence while beside Alberto (the lover played by Dennis Trillo) in a gamut of emotions was when i realized how mature has Jennylyn's acting levels has reached. that scene alone has no dialogue yet you need to see her face just to get an idea how confused, embarrassed, shocked and all of those emotions - so to speak she got into a blackhole of emotions and it was very evident on her face. Alberto on the other hand was pissed off big time, perhaps not expecting his fling/tryst to go this awry.
and this is actually what i liked about the film - the ability to convey several emotions at one simply by not saying anything and expressing everything thru their eyes. this is what a film should be - something that needs to be scene to fully understand what's going on. not dialogue-heavy, it's very visual-heavy, if ever i get OD'ed on too much 20's visuals, i will not be complaining. the production's loyalty to the 20's settings and the appropriateness of the scenes to the emotional turmoil going on is such a rarity in films that i watch lately since most movies that i've seen lately depend so much on dialogue, you might as well listen to the lines while doing something else.
this is a must-see film. to see it lose the Best Picture and Best Actress to a VERY mediocre film is an abomination i might not forgive. but then again if i didn't forgive, i'd lose the essence of the story - forgiveness which became very elusive to Rosario down to her dying days. her son to Alberto, Hesus, provided the closure MVP badly needed to in order to heal old wounds and forgive grudges that stayed for about 2 generations. since forgiveness became elusive to Rosario especially when her own daughter rejected her and her husband cursed her, Hesus asked MVP forgiveness in behalf of his mother. it wasn't clear who among Rosario's children became MVP's parent but this film is proof that Rosario's family had forgiven her. if this is seen as a closure that everything she did wrong, it turned out to be a very beautiful film.