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Cinema One Originals 2019 reviews (Part 2): Misteryo sa Tuwa, The Lighthouse, Utopia

utopia dustin celestino cinema one originals 2019

(This is the second part of our reviews for Cinema One Originals 2019. Browse here for the full coverage)

"Utopia" invests in a lot of characters. Too much, I think. We follow an online show crew, hitmen, drug syndicates, a drug-enforcement SWAT team, police offers, and snatchers as their fates cross paths in one evening.


utopia dustin celestino cinema one originals 2019
Dustin Celestino's "Utopia"
There's no denying that there's ambition here. It's the kind of ambitiousness that demands you to care for each, especially by the end where its real emotional punches really shine. The ensemble downgrades this effect. The sewing of the multiple storylines in "Utopia" feels all over the place, leaving little to no room for a satisfying tension and well-rounded characters. 

READ: Everything you need to know about Cinema One Originals 2019

I like its bittersweet reveal in its final minute. A more streamlined focus for each character would probably benefit to its eventual catharsis. 


misteryo sa tuwa 1984 abbo dela cruz restored
Abbo Dela Cruz's "Misteryo sa Tuwa"
The restoration for Abbo Dela Cruz's 1984 film "Misteryo sa Tuwa" is far from perfect, but it is something special. The ABS-CBN Film Restoration team has regarded this as the most difficult film they have restored. It makes sense because throughout the film you can see the permanent damages from the resources they used, from discoloration to imagery that might be hard to describe without any context.

The final product is impressive. The film is still a tense display of how our drives as humans never really change regardless of time, that we still have the dangerous tendencies to be corrupt on the power, and how we oversentimentalize on the things we perceive as our chance for domination. Really great stuff. 


the lighthouse robert eggers cinema one originals philippines release
Robert Eggers' "The Lighthouse"
Robert Eggers' "The Lighthouse" has this unease that really creeps you in. A feeling so inescapable, you can't help but enjoy its stay.

Here, Robertson Pattinson and Willem Dafoe play two who are tasked to be lighthouse keepers on a remote island. Unfortunate things start to occur after an accident, leaving the two test their real place. 

I think everything of the great things about the film has already been said. This is a film that I think would reach its intended effect without really engrossing performances for its characters. You can feel a competition of some sorts between Pattinson and Dafoe on and off-screen that complements well to their respective roles. Pattinson shines a lot here, while Dafoe is effectively scary. 

Also, really great stuff.

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