Review: 'Paglisan' is heart-wrenching material

Oct 15, 2018
paglisan 2018 movie review carl joseph papa

(Cinema One Originals 2018 is upon us. Click here for the reviews of the feature films and here for your guide to the festival)

For some people, ‘Paglisan (The Leaving)’ may not be an easy watch. The animation style used here looked like a rough sketch, in a way, a drawing that deserves a lot of polishing. I get that what the filmmakers were seeking here is more of an abstract portrait of its abstract characters, but the entire art can really be distracting, especially at instances when colors couldn’t catch up on outline traces.

paglisan 2018 movie review carl joseph papa

The style needs time to ingest and appreciate, but when you start to embrace it, the distraction, and even the animation, just vanishes slowly. An interesting statement can be unraveled here, on how the animation might not even be needed for visual storytelling. In fact, we get to learn more about the characters when they were just curves and lines of a white canvas. They are at their most colorful at their least colorful nature. It is in itself not just telling a story about a wife seeking patience when the husband was diagnosed of Alzheimer’s, but a deconstruction of animation as a visual style. 

paglisan 2018 movie review carl joseph papa

Papa does not only disenfranchised animation to unwelcoming bits, but he also uses this decision as an opportunity to experiment on offering new methods to catharsis. The power of ‘Paglisan’ is that it lets you know that great drama will always be great drama, regardless of what medium used it. Could it work as a live-action? Yes. A more polished animation? Yes. It could even be a great radio show. 

paglisan 2018 movie review carl joseph papa

Paglisan’ is worthy to be seen on the sole merits of how animation was used. The story it tells was pretty heart-wrenching material, emphasizing on the concept of love as a force that cannot be reckoned, withstanding disease, memory loss, and even the decision to depart from it.

'Paglisan (The Leaving)' is part of Cinema One Originals 2018, which is currently running until October 21, 2018.

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