Saturday, March 22, 2014

Mana (2014)

This was a movie that I really wanted to see, not only did it struck close to home as it was shot and told the story of my home province . The characters , the family in the film , even their old house , reminded me so much of mine . Of course there have been plenty of movies that revolved around the same topic like the grand epic "Oro Plata Mata " (look it up it's a great movie from the 80's,in fact one of the stars of Mana; Cherie Gil is the lead actress in that movie) , still this one is on a different path as it adds a certain supernatural element to the old class-tale that has been retold plenty of times in the small and big screen.

Mana tells the story of an old aristocratic family in the island of Negros who have gathered around their sick Matriarch. The children who now lead separate adult lives are arguing about a mysterious inheritance . While most arguments of this nature tend to be about someone wanting the inheritance, the children are actually fighting because not one of them wants it. Things take a dark turn as various mysterious events unfold, slowly revealing how truly dark the past of this family is.

Despite being an independent production , this movie was able to gather some very big veteran movie stars to play in the ensemble cast, which includes Cherie Gil known for her iconic villain roles and for uttering one of the most famous movie quotes in south-east asian cinema , her brother Mark Gil , a long standing movie star , Jaime Fabregas, Ricky Davao , Epy Quizon a well know character actor and the son of the legendary Dolphy , and Tetchie Agbayani who not had a long career in asian cinema but also starred in a few hollywood films in the 80's . Top performers all , and did they deliver? Oh yes , above and beyond. The acting was superb , every small nuances and movement provided tensions and foreshadowed the dark events unfolding . It was fairly refreshing , usually people who gather in big old houses on horror films are a bunch of horny good-looking screen teenagers who lack any sort of amazing theatrical capability . The cinematography and production design is to be applauded as well and added well to the eerie atmosphere. And on a personal side-note it was fun to see again so many people I know on screen on this movie . Watch this if you can , even if you are not a fan of the genre , their is enough family drama and and back story to entertain without it going to the level of a soap opera, besides the high caliber actors are good enough reason as I have said. Watch Trailer

Directed by : Gabriel Fernandez

Fides Cuyugan-Asensio
Tetchie Agbayani
Ricky Davao
Jaime Fabregas
Cherie Gil
Mark Gil
Jeffrey Quizon

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