Bite-Size Reviews: Asian Cinema

Rating: 3/5
Better off as a love story than a family melodrama. The Dekada Cinemanila crowd swooned over the brewing romance between these two Thai teenage boys with the same ‘kilig’ they poured on John Lloyd-Sarah or Edward-Bella, and the majority of the crowd is not even gay. I bet girls have this inexplicable fantasy of seeing two cute boys kiss. Fetish.

OLDBOY (Korea)
Rating: 3/5
After being locked up inside a seedy hotel room for 15 years without knowing the reason, Oh Dae-Su hunts down his captor and engages in a bloody spree of revenge. Twisted and unforgettable, “Oldboy” leaves us with morality questions. Beneath the gore and the violence lie dark truths about man’s nature.

Rating: 2/5
This film is a visual parade of surrealistic imageries. It merges convoluted dreams into reality in a grim yet fizzy fashion. It is psychedelic and trippy. And the attacks on technology and man’s interference with privacy elevate the film from its apparent randomness. However, when the parade has passed, viewers will be left with nothing but a void.

Rating: 1/5
This Indonesian film screened during Dekada Cinemanila failed to take flight due to an incoherent storyline. Monotonously dour. Pretentious script. Watch out for the most vituperative, cringe-worthy anal sex ever caught on film, and it’s not even graphic.

ANDONG (Philippines)
Rating: 3/5
Cinemalaya 2008 Best Short Film is just lovely. A Payatas kid’s obsession with winning a TV through a baranggay lottery is stifled by his younger brother’s ‘bili mo ko’ attitude. Funny, touching, and feel-good. Smile and be thankful that you have a television at home, even if it’s not HD.


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