CAREGIVER (Chito Roño, 2008)

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SPOILER ALERT!!

Mabilis talaga ako maiyak kapag tungkol sa OFW ang pelikula. Napakalungkot kasi isipin lahat ng mga sakripisyo nila matupad lang ang pangarap na magandang buhay para sa pamilya. Yung alam mong titiisin ang lahat (discrimination abroad, homesickness, extra work hours, downgrade sa trabaho) para kumita ng Pounds.

Hindi na bago ang story ni Sarah (Sharon Cuneta), isang magaling na English teacher sa Pilipinas na mas piniling magtrabaho bilang caregiver sa London dahil: 1) “mas malaki ang Pounds kesa Dollars” at syempre lalo na sa Pesos, at 2) yun ang utos ng asawang si Teddy (John Estrada). Nagustuhan ko na malaman ang meaning nito sa status ng kababaihan (married professionals or otherwise) sa ating bansa.

In one scene, pinapanood ni Sarah ang kanyang nanay na pinapaliguan ang kanilang lola. Sinasabi ba nito na lubos na maalaga ang mga babae? O nasa culture nating mga Pinoy ang pagiging mapagmahal sa mga nakakatanda? Kaya ba tayo right fit sa pagiging caregiver? Tumatak sa akin ang masaklap na juxtaposition na hindi man lang niya maalagaan ang lola niya (na hindi siya kilala dahil sa dementia) pero ganun mismo ang job requirement niya sa patients na hindi niya kaano-ano. Ang sakit sa puso.

Mahusay si Sharon dito. Mas gusto ko talaga kapag restrained ang atake niya sa pag-iyak (in peak form nung Madrasta). Ramdam mo yung hiya nung pinagtawanan siya ng isang estudyante na she’ll “make punas punas the pwet of older people there”. At halos masuka na din ako nung kelangan na nga niya magpunas ng pwet.

Sayang kasi nawalan ng direction ang story at naging melodramatic nung naging demonyo bigla si Ted at nung nag-focus sa relationship ni Sarah at Mr. Morgan. Kasi kahit ang dami nang OFW movies (like Anak), may iba pang topics sana na tinutukan (like yung subplot ni Jhong Hilario’s doctor turned nurse na nauwi sa illegal termination) to further show the OFW experience.

At least sa huli na-realize ni Sarah na mas importante ang kanyang self-worth/self-love kesa sa gwapo niyang asawa. Yes, sana all.

Rating: ★★★☆☆

TOP 10 MMFF MOVIES (2000-2016)

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100 (Chris Martinez, 2008)

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SPOILER ALERT!!

My notes on 100:

1. If you only had a hundred days left to live, what one hundred things would you do with your limited time? Scary thought for sure, but something that most of us had probably imagined.

2. Upon diagnosis of a terminal case of lymphoma, Joyce de Leon (played by the excellent Mylene Dizon) used Post-its on her wall to remind herself of her bucket list. The tasks ranged from serious responsibilities (resign, pay loans and mortgage), normal chores (clean closet, pack books), sentimental tasks (arrange photo album, visit high school), mundane stuff (food trips that included ice cream, Lapid’s chicharon, and crispy pata; kiss a stranger) and even chilling realities (pick a casket, select funeral clothes).

3. The list grew longer as she revealed her illness to family and friends. Her best friend Ruby (the delightful Eugene Domingo) added the typical BFF fun stuff (trip to HK) while her mother (the superb Tessie Tomas) wrote down normal motherly tasks (stop smoking, visit Manaoag). None of the items would be out of place in a usual bucket list. Even her fantasies (visit Europe, see the Eiffel Tower and Mona Lisa) were fulfilled via YouTube. Everything was so grounded in reality that it would be hard not to feel her pain and her fears.

4. I definitely loved the writing in this film. People talked like real human beings and even if it dealt with life and death, there were still a lot of moments that made me laugh (sometimes through the tears). One said scene involved an Ate Vi marathon. After viewing Tagos ng Dugo (where could I get a copy of this?) and Relasyon, the two friends decided to watch Pahiram ng Isang Umaga. Bad choice, obviously. They were bawling by the end that Ruby quipped “Sabi ko sa’yo dapat Darna na lang sinunod natin eh.”

Another included a skinny dipping scene that you would have to see to believe (such fearless actresses! Bravo!!).

5. I probably had a lump in my throat for the entire two hours. There was just an overall feeling of uneasiness and anxiety even if the scenes were nowhere close to being mawkish. I started choosing my own funeral songs as well when I saw her selection (Seasons of Love, really?! Mine would include The Scientist, for sure.)

6. I also understood why Tell Mommy was the hardest thing for her to do. In one scene, her mom served her veggie kare-kare without the tuwalya and any bagoong since it was bad for her health. It ended with a brutal shouting match (“Pati mga libro ko pinalitan mo. The Purpose Driven Life? Aanhin ko yun?”) followed by one of the most heartbreaking scenes in the film where Joyce apologized and said “Lahat tayo mamamatay, Ma. Mauuna lang po ako. Ng konti.” (Full disclosure: I was crying while typing this.)

7. Here’s a line that struck me a lot (delivered by Joyce’s boss upon her resignation): “Kayo talagang mga single, masyado kayong restless. You don’t know what to do with your money. You don’t know what to do with your lives.” Hurtful and yet so true.

8. The last few minutes were definitely up for interpretation. Others would argue that she didn’t die in the end and she was just at peace with herself. The rest would say that she died and ended up in paradise (given her fear that there was no life after death). Regardless of the actual meaning, the silence of the wonderfully-executed scene provided the catharsis that the audience (still with lumps in our throats) needed as well.

Rating: ★★★★★