MUSMOS NA SUMIBOL SA GUBAT NG DIGMA (Iar Lionel Arondaing, 2018)

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SPOILER ALERT!!

Tipid Tip of the Day: Whenever critics describe the story as a slow burn, it’s just their polite way of saying that watching the film may cause drowsiness. If you’ve ever seen a Terrence Malick or Lav Diaz without ever nodding off, then you’ll have no problems with this one.

To be fair, I liked the performances of the lead kids and the beautiful (oftentimes haunting) imagery (sure win for this year’s Balanghai for Cinematography?). I do have a limit on the amount of time I can watch a burning field before it turns from mesmerizing to when will this end.

I think it was an inspired choice to frame the entire thing with religious chanting (prayers/verses from the Quran). Having the characters speak entirely in Tagalog made everything feel less authentic, though.

Rating: ★★☆☆☆

(Originally published August 8, 2018.)

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