This film is very interesting, it presents a reality which I say is very true to the point. The crime , the grit , the hard life that is shown in this, the sleazy night life of metro manila , which is very exact, which makes me wonder what the british director Sean Ellis did in Metro Manila when he came to visit hmmm. Well enough of that , from the articles I've read the film was inspired by a vacation to the Philippines of the director.I guess maybe he saw with clearer eyes because it is from the point of view of an observer _ I don't know. But he was able was able to weave an amazing and beautiful story out of it and it wasn't even out there it is really grounded in reality.
The story of a man from a province in the Philippines who goes to the capital manila has been told before in Lino Brocka's " Maynila sa Kuko ng Liwanag " a movie included in a list of 100 greatest movies in world cinema. In fact this film kind of echoes a lot of the themes , yes there are a lot of similarities - but it is really two different movies and both are brilliant. Metro Manila tells the story of a rice farmer who takes his family to the city of the movie's title, in search of a better life . There he finds that this metropolis may not be the land of opportunity he was hoping for and after several setbacks , and in desperation his wife finds work as a stripper , while he lands a dangerous job as a security guard for an armored car , and this is where the story takes of. This film starts out as a drama and actually sort of becomes a thriller and action film rolled into one . There are some very exciting moments , and great dramatic heights , Jake Macapagal a theatre actor who played the lead role was absolutely brilliant in this movie , there is no other word for it. And the supporting cast such as John Arcilla who played his partner as well as the others also did very well . It was really great to watch . Despite the gritty environment , everything was beautifully shot . I could literally smell the smog, and get a feel of the heat and the trash and yet everything on the screen was like a photograph . That was very well done . And the storyline , oh my what an excellent twist in the end , brought tears in my eyes , a mixture of sadness and happiness, it was excellent. I heard the United Kingdom is submitting this as their entry for the Best Foreign Language film in the Academy Awards , I hope it goes through and even win because this movie, the cast , crew and most especially the director really would deserve that honor and again what a brilliant film ...
Watch Trailer Here
Directed by: Sean Ellis
Jake Macapagal as Oscar Ramirez
Althea Vega as Mai Ramirez
John Arcilla as Ong