SANTA SANTITA (Laurice Guillen, 2004)

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SPOILER ALERT!!

Just imagine kung yung pinakamalandi mong bff nagising isang umaga with healing powers. At hindi lang siya basta pokpok version ni Elsa (Ate Guy, not Frozen) ha. More of Magdalena ikaw ay sawimpalad to Mama Mary real quick.

Ganun ang naging kapalaran ni Malen (Angelica Panganiban) dito. Nung una allergic siya sa simbahan at galit na galit sa nanay (Hilda Koronel) na nagdadasal kapalit ng donasyon. Tapos in a cruel twist of fate, naging instant prophet (ata kasi bigla siya nagsuot ng costume ng mga jakono) slash faith healer siya. Sa sobrang lakas niya humiling sa pagdadasal, inakala ng jowa-jowaan niya na si Mike (Jericho Rosales) na kaya niya buhayin ang namatay nitong anak na nabubulok na pero nakakunot pa rin ang noo.

Blatant ang influence ng Himala dito. Sayang lang kasi wala masyadong nasabi ang pelikula. May konting sundot about the hypocrisy of Catholics (tulad nung mga chismosang Titas of Quiapo na nagsabi na binababoy ni Malen ang simbahan for wearing her Freeway outfits with plunging necklines and short skirts pero more paninira naman sa isa’t isa to get prayer customers).

Easy target pa naman ang religion sa mga ganitong klaseng pelikula pero parang natakot siya mabansagang makasalanan. Bagay na bagay pa naman kay Angelica ang Madonna-whore role (she wasn’t Rubi for nothing). Sana mas na-explore pa yung confused feelings niya regarding that dichotomy. Para que pa na nagkaron siya (or at least visions) ng stigmata diba?

And speaking of, naalala ko tuloy bigla si Bianca Lapus na hinihimatay tuwing may interview dati tapos dumudugo bigla ang mga palad. Medyo bata pa ako nun (wew) pero I really didn’t fall for that publicity stunt. After her fifteen minutes of fame, ayun she went the way of the infamous Judiel Nieva. Tama si Ate Guy all along. Wala talagang himala.

Rating: ★★☆☆☆

FROZEN II (Jennifer Lee, Chris Buck, 2019)

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The story felt too complex for the young ones (“Dad, what’s permafrost?”), but might also not be as engaging to the older crowd (the mother sitting next to me had a well-deserved hour of nap before she tends again to her kids for all of eternity).

I really liked the 80’s vibe of Lost in the Woods and almost everyone was humming/singing Into the Unknown as they stepped out of the theater. The rest of the songs were not as catchy, although they would fit right in a Broadway musical.

Plus one star for Olaf’s hilarious recap alone (don’t miss his post-credits scene). Oh, and those gorgeous new dresses of Elsa would be perfect for Halloween 2020. Get your wallets ready, dear parents!!

Rating: ★★★☆☆

PAN DE SALAWAL (Che Espiritu, 2018)

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SPOILER ALERT!!

I would usually fall for this type of excessively sentimental, unapologetically silly fantasy, but there were just so many scenes that made my eyeballs roll wildly in their sockets. Why wasn’t this a Lenten TV Special instead?

So a young Elsa (Ate Guy, not Frozen) literally and figuratively healed a small town with her magical hands and she never got mobbed at all? And why did she only heal a select few? Ang dami kaya nasa dialysis center. May favoritism?

And then it rained rock salt (LA Lopez would not approve) and the townspeople started dancing and making “snow” angels? Also, the person cured of kidney problems reverted back to his old salt-loving ways and didn’t learn anything? No, no, no.

Maybe that black rock actually stood for my already jaded heart.

Rating: ★★☆☆☆

(Originally published August 7, 2018.)