Tuesday, December 11, 2012

CineManila - Day 6

This is, sadly, the last day of the festival. Oh, well. Until next year!

Distortion (Nonzee Nimibutr)

This psychological thriller hails from Thailand. It's about a serial killer with a seeming personal vendetta against gay men who were high school friends and at the same time, a successful young psychiatrist is haunted by terrifying hallucinations and a young woman who he once helped as young girl get over sexual abuse in the hands of her own father. What do they have to do with one another? Well, that's where the film slowly but surely reveals. It's very high concept and I was interested about where it would go since it shows lots of promise in the first two acts then it unfortunately goes into predictable territory then goes for some plot twists which, at first, were pretty nice then another plot twist that's so freaking ludicrous, it doesn't make any sense and the entire film falls. It's too bad since it's pretty slickly made. (C)

Barbara (Christian Petzold)

An East German doctor, the title character, is banished to a country hospital and she plans to defect with her West German lover but things don't go quite as planned. I didn't really know much about the film and where it was headed but it turns out to be quite a lovely little humane film. Features a great performance by the lead actress. It kind of reminds me of The Lives of Others. It's not quite as great as that movie but it would make for a lovely double-feature. (B)

Jan Dara: The Beginning (ML Bhandevanop Devakula)

This is based on a Thai novel about a young boy who grows up in early 20th century aristocratic Thai family and is by his father after his mother dies in childbirth. Oh, and they have lots of sex. This is actually the second film version of the novel just this century, as it was made back in 2001 (coincidentally, by the same director of Distortion). This is a more detailed and faithful adaptation since it's just the first half of a two-part film. The lead actor, Thai heartthrob Mario Maurer, is only barely adequate and gets by with his good looks. However, the film is good enough that I'd like to actually see part 2. (B-)

1 comment:

YeamieWaffles said...

The premise of the first film had me so excited so I'm really disappointed that it all didn't come together properly but I'd still love to check it out. Great post man, it's been awesome to follow you on this festival, I'm glad that you enjoyed the majority of films.