i hate to admit it but the first time i’ve seen a Brillante Mendoza movie, called Serbis, i just didn’t like it. perhaps it’s because lately i’ve come to prefer watching stupid comedy movies. i had enough of the serious ones that usually lure you into believing there is something more to it than what it is. only to find out in the end that it’s just another piece of pretentious bullshit.
as for his Cannes film festival winner, Kinatay (Butchered), i seem to feel a kind of aversion towards the title. it calls to mind traumatic scenes from my childhood like seeing our neighbor bash a dog on the head to kill it and to later eat it. they even gave some of the cooked dog meat to me without me knowing at first that it was a dog. so that i had already eaten some of it beforehand. it also calls to mind that not-so-favorite scene in the Lord of the Flies with a pig’s head at the end of a spear with flies hovering. and of course, my Lola, mercilessly slitting the throats of a hundred live chickens per hour, the day before a town feast. so i doubt if i will ever get myself to see this movie.
it’s not that i never watch violent movies. i mean i totally loved Kill Bill, and Taxi Driver is one of my favorite movies of all time. but somehow, when the words are in Filipino, like kinatay, it just sounds a thousand times more bloody and gory to me.
anyways, about Captive, i managed to promote the movie to the Filipino Community (AFPMP) here in Toulouse. and one of the french members managed to actually find a cinema (Utopia) that would show the movie here. the cinema only featured art films. and i was relieved that they do not dub the movies in french, like most theaters here usually do. although, i had to resort to reading the french subtitles from time to time when the characters were speaking in Visayan dialect.
first of all, i loved the theater. it was really old of course. and it seats only a few people. i was quite surprised to see a lot of people actually watching it. and the night before, i even saw one TV show (Le Grand Journal sur Canal plus) doing a short movie review about it. and they actually raved about it! 🙂
like all the reviews say, it was quite repetitive. and some say they feel as if there’s no message or there’s something lacking.
as for me, i liked it. not raving about it. but i just liked it. it’s kinda ironic that the movie title is Captive. as for me, i found it quite a liberating experience to watch this movie. very few movies actually let you think for yourself what to make of what you watch or experience. this one does. and it’s total freedom from the usual boring captivity of a dull and predictable movie that already tells you everything you would see, or want to know about just from the title itself.