5.4.13

La Visa Loca

Again, thanx to Netflix I was able to watch the Tony Gloria production of a Mark Meily film " La Visa Local".

I have to admit that because of the hype around the movie and its stated topic I initially thought it was the usual "kenkoy" comedy. Which unfortunately thru the years has now come to mean a hastily put together comedy movie of old jokes and stereotypes. Mark Meily knows, as he has already shown in "Crying Ladies", exactly what Philippine society is really like. In this sense I place him as one of our current creative assets which should be allowed to make any movie he chooses, but I am not a dictator.

The movie centers around Robin Padilla as a driver trying to get a US visa to migrate to the United States. This is someone all Pilipino's know. What was so surprising for me was that the actual bare bones of the screenplay didn't have anything new in it on this subject. Like I said every Pilipino knows this character, but the way Meily stages, and tells this story is so picture perfect I couldn't pause the movie even tho' it was late at night, I had to finish this movie.

For me one of the rare joys in life is to experience a piece of creative endeavour and totally believe the characters and situations and locations I am watching. There is so much that Meily could have sensationalized in this film but he didn't. He nobly chose to take the realistic route, he chose to stay honest to the characters he created. As a small example, Rufa Mae Quinto is a beautiful, well endowed actress, and in this film she is cast as a carnival freakshow mermaid. Her character reminds Padilla's character of the good things in the Philippines and therefore she is neither scandalous or revealing in a sexual way. She is just a sweet character trying to get by in a society that doesn't give many chances to people in her social class. Meily never gives in to base emotions and stereotypes, he always goes for the real truth and the seemingly nonchalant way Pinoy accept that truth and go on with life. This is made crystal clear in the scene where Padilla's father reveals a truth about their family, this truth make it plain why their family is in the situation it is in and why dad is the way he is today. Now it is not revealed in a sensationalistic way, it is almost calmly stated but it has massive ramifications for the rest of the story. It is done in a pinoy way...

That is what I loved most about this movie, every second of it pores out an honest mirror of the Pilipino condition and life as it is, neither dressed up to be made more palateable nor done in amanner to be looked down upon...it just is the way it is because it is...that is the Pinoy way, acceptence, enjoy life as it comes for what it is...Whilce....

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