Aaminin ko, I’m a sucker for stuff folkloric and mystical. So nung nalaman kong #tuos was about the binukots, aba umakyat ito sa must-see list ko. That the movie starred Nora Aunor didn’t figure in it at all.

Given my penchant, i was rivetted by the movie for the most part. May kakulangan man sa storytelling ang movie, naibigay nito sa akin ang kini-crave ko outside a National Geographic documentary. Kebs na na sa ethnological at linguistic authenticity. Na-engage ako, at nag-want ako to know more about the film’s subject.

I love the fact that they prominently featured actual indigenous binukot chanting within the film and the story at binigyan ng treatment that was a pleasant surprise.

Regarding the performances masasabi kong magaling si Barbie Forteza. She was acting and at the same time delivering lines in a different language na on point ang emosyon. Hindi siya TV acting dito and in fact rose to the occasion sa mga eksenang katapat si Ate Guy which means mata-mata ang labanan. Quiet acting. Emosyong itinatago under the surface. Alam mo na yun. Ganern.

And what with Ate Guy? Sa totoo lang, not much was asked of her sa movie na ito naman and she could have easily done it in her sleep. The role did not need a Nora Aunor to protray it. Any good theater actress can essay the role. I can easily see Irma Adlawan play Pina-ilog for example. But….

But what Nora gives the movie is stellar quality. Ate Guy IS Ate Guy. Hahanapin talaga ng mata mo si Nora basta nandun siya sa eksena. I found myself waiting for the small ticks and acting genius na know Nora could summon in a scene. May mga eksenang hindi dumarating, pero minsan antindi ng pay off.

The highlight of the movie for me was Nora as Pina-ilog dancing by firelight. Bitch still has it. She may have not aged gracefully as a real binukot pero she demands attention. Through lights and shadows, through flicks of movement nakita ko yung commitment ni Nora sa ginagawa niya.

If only for that dance sequence and the chanting and animation, i won’t bother touch na isyung isinusuong ng kwento nor sa medyo manipis na resolusyon nito.

I went out of the cinema satisified. Tama na iyon.

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