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Friday, February 13, 2015

Fifty Shades of Grey

Erotic. Shocking. Literary Failure. Just a few words that would describe the book which sold around 100 million copies worldwide. Now it has been adapted into a screenplay, how did it fare as a movie?

Anastasia Steele is a shy English Lit Major student who is tasked to interview a confident and sleek CEO, Christian Grey. While the interview lasted for a short time, Grey came into liking Anastasia and ultimately becomes involved with her. What Anastasia don't know is Grey's liking to sadomasochism.

The plot goes like this: "Girl meets boy, boy likes girl, but hey, I want to slap you so bad, you will like it, which I hope you do." Anastasia on the other hand seeks for intimacy which is contrary to what Grey wants. In the process, Grey ends up to be a changed man which turned the tables around.

While we are devoid of the graphic descriptions made in the book, the sexual encounters are restrained and becomes quite repetitive as the movie progresses and that becomes a bad thing. The movie becomes entirely long because nothing actually happens in between sex.

Fifty Shades of Grey is nothing but for the fans to please them. There is nothing special with the film. No exploration of the psyche of the Dominant (Grey) or the Submissive (Steele). The motivation of the characters are lost in the process and ultimately you will fail to care about the characters whether they will end up together or break up.

Fifty Shades of Grey is made for those who loved the books, but for those who expects the film to be engaging, then I would advise that the long wait you have to get yourself checked by the doctor is more worth it.

P.S. I suggest that you watch Nyphomaniac Vol. 1 and 2 by Lars Von Trier and starred by Shia LeBeouf



That Thing Called Tadhana

There is much to be said about Filipino movies. Rarely has it been that Filipino filmmakers would steer out of the usual formula when it comes to doing any kind of movie genre. Tadhana is one of those films that defies what the masses commonly see - and this is where the film succeeds.

Angelica Panganiban portrays the distressed and heartbroken while JM De Guzman just happened to be at a Milan airport and offered help to the confused and emotionally battered Panganiban. This act of kindness brought them unceremoniously together to greater heights as they discover each other in lengthy but meaningful talks.

The plot is very simple that I was able to put it in just two sentences. However, it is the content that marks the beauty of the film. While we are previously bombarded by Filipino Rom-Coms with unrealistic situations, Tadhana gives us the most meaningful lines of conversation between the two characters. 

While watching Tadhana, I became reminiscent of one of my favorite films, Before Sunset. Though there may be similarities in the execution of the film, it differs in the sense that it is purely written by a Filipino, thus its "Filipinism" is greatly seen in the entire film. 

Angelica and JM are both a gem on this film. Angelica scored another hit after her great performance in another Antoinette Jadaone film Beauty in a Bottle. Panganiban plays the quirkiness and the vulnerability of her character with great ease. JM, on the other hand, is a rediscovery after his brief hiatus from the entertainment scene. He may not be the perfect boyfriend material but he portrayed the character well, mirroring the typical guy who met a distressed woman.

All the credit goes to Antoinette Jadaone who, did not only directed the film, but wrote the screenplay as well. The over all output showed that Jadaone knows her craft well. Comparing her to other directors like Cathy Garcia-Molina, Jadaone rises up from the rest because of her writing and her execution. 

Tadhana is one of the films that deserves the mainstream release. We will never see another film like this in a few years time and viewers should see it for the sake that it is a beautiful film about relationship failures and finding it in the most unexpected time.