Cinema One Originals 2019 reviews (Part 1): Metamorphosis, Sila-Sila, O, Tayo Muna Habang Hindi Pa Tayo, Lucid

Nov 16, 2019
sila-sila giancarlo abrahan cinema one originals 2019 review

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

"Metamorphosis" is a delicate, gentle, and surprisingly positive appeal for acceptance and fairness. An advocacy project that never attempts to dignify nor demonize its protagonist and opposers.

metamorphosis j.e. tiglao cinema one originals 2019 review
J.E. Tiglao's "Metamorphosis"
It's a sweet, little film that wishes no harm to its world, anchored by an impressive performance by Gold Aceron. Aceron, as the teenager struggling his intersexuality during pubescent stages, was humane enough for the role to never demand any pity usually expected on a character escaping the pressures of a minority.

The director J.E. Tiglao knows the heart of the film and how it will be best presented. Although its messaging tends to be too preachy by the end (filled with enough metaphor and changing aspect ratio techniques to describe its eventual plight), I think it captures what it wants to achieve.

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

sila-sila giancarlo abrahan cinema one originals 2019 review
Giancarlo Abrahan's "Sila-Sila"
A large chunk of Giancarlo Abrahan's "Sila-Sila"s charm can be found on its voyeuristic lingers: the reunions that started with the retreat, abrupting with fueled confrontation, and ending on truces and/ or bigger resentments. There is rhythm, much more like a dance, in every scene pounded by an excellent screenplay.

Watching it feels like peeking through conversations between friends and couples on their most intimate. A lot of the film is composed by fascinating interactions of just people talking. Some of it might not make the most sense, but it's still a delightful watch. 

Gio Gahol and Topper Fabregas were really good here, as two former lovers still carrying the pain of their history. I would not mind if the film only features just them alone, stripped off of time for other supporting characters (despite being a fun inclusion). 

I do feel "Sila-Sila" could've improved with a tighter composition. All of it doesn't yield well together, but a great film nonetheless.

lucid victor villanueva cinema one originals 2019 review
Victor Villanueva's "Lucid"
Victor Villanueva's "Lucid," about a female office clerk (Alessandra de Rossi) who only gets to enjoy life through lucid dreaming, is an affecting view on isolation and the existential challenges that come along in defining what truly means to be alive and be in control.

While it got its catharsis right, I do feel it could improve with enough budget to present more of its visual reliant ideologies. The technically-demanding lucid dreaming sequences feel like it wants something more out of it. Would love to see this enhanced in the future.

tayo muna habang hindi pa tayo denise o'hara cinema one originals 2019 review
Denise O'Hara's "Tayo Muna Habang Hindi Pa Tayo"
Tayo Muna Habang Hindi Pa Tayo” centers on a couple who never got the chance to validate their relationship with a label. The girl wants to put the stamp on this, while the boy seems unsure of further commitment after a break-up.

The film establishes this conflict as the lone challenge for the two. Even with a change of mind, the very essence of their problem remains the same: the boy suddenly tries to give it a shot, the girl, however, wants him to wait with no definite assurance. For a story that constantly pushes and pulls its characters, the motivation and the very foundation of the relationship feel shallow.

It does not help that the writer-director Denise O’Hara decided to present the story non-linear, as each scene, even the film’s eventual resolution, would bounce on the same thesis. Like the most toxic relationships, the couple fights on the same thing neglecting any chance for maturity.

o movie kevin dayrit cinema one originals 2019 review
Kevin Dayrit's "O"
For the most part, "O" feels like a quick-cut video montage of films with no connection. It seems to operate with a mindset of which clip works best with this certain beat on a track, the kind of energy that shocks without notice, and that uses its frenetic tendencies to emulate short giggles.

You can feel that the director Kevin Dayrit is having a lot of fun collating the entire thing. A lot of it feels like it doesn't make any sense as well.

Photo credits: Cinema One Originals


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