Rogue One Sa Likod ng Buwan. Cheret.
I first saw #aninosalikodngbuwan on my own around July during its cinema run, yet for some reason I didn’t get around to doing a review. G wanted to see it but was busy then, so when he saw that it will be screened again sa UP Film Center, aba gora siya. Sumabit na rin ako. At bungga, free ang screening, present pa si direk Jun Lana na nagbigay ng free Master Class talk. Kung may pameryenda at libreng pamasahe lang perfect na sana. Abuso!
I really like the movie on my first viewing and it still held up well on my second. Maganda talaga siya. Siguro sinumpong ako ng katamaran kaya hindi ko na review agad… saka nag-overlap yata sila nung i decided na gawing novena ang Cinemalaya by watching 9 film.
Anyways, I remember that “Anino…”totally delivered what Cinemalaya’s “Kusina” could only aspire to and “Anino…” did one better pa. While Kusina was a movie which contrived to tell its story in theater stage form dahil wala lang bet ng mga directors siguro, “Anino Sa Likod ng Buwan” was written as a play and staged as a play only caught on camera, in seemingly one single shot. Kitang-kita ang pagkakaiba mga besh.
“Anino…” tells the story of three people trapped in a no-man’s land, between the opposing military and the rebel forces during the 90’s. But that is just the take off point. This is no taas-kamao at makibaka movie. It is about people and desire and deceit. It is about passion, principles and hubris. Saka 15 minutes ng chukchakan.
The movie starts with the three protagonist playing pusoy dos, a variety of poker, and basically that is what they were doing the whole movie. I don’t mean nagbaraha sila for 90 minutes. I mean yung pakikitungo nila sa isa’t isa ay dinidiskartehan nila. Friendly-friendly kunwari pero parang secret warfare, hindi mo alam kung sino ang totoong kakampi o kaaway.
At andaming layers ng kwento. On my second viewing of the movie i discovered another layer of deceit and powerplay between the characters na hindi ko nakita during my first viewing. Nakakaloka siya at mas nakakaloka na Jun Lana wrote “Anino…” as a play when he was 17 years old lang raw! Unyeta. At 17 i dont think would be able to write myself out of a paper bag.
Dahil sa lenguaheng gamit sa dialogue hindi ubra yung usong no-acting acting sa indie film na ito. Hindi rin kasi no-writing writing ang ginamit sa pagsulat ng script. The dialogues were intentionally lengthy even archaic at times pero it actually worked in making the milleu more unreal.
Performance-wise, na-stretch si LJ Reyes dito nang bongga, but she delivered. There were scenes where LJ effort showed dahil alam naman nating lumaking rich kid ang bagets. Napa-isip lang ako what could the young Jacklyn Jose have done with the role kung prinuduce ito sa time ng “Itanong Mo Sa Buwan”, de ba?
Pero giving credit where it’s due, LJ totally gave herself to the role particularly dun the 15 minute chukchakan scene na keber humello ang pwedeng humello sa kanya. Nabother ako kasi kilala ko na si LJ nung nene pa siya and now ayun ang dede on screen, larger than life. Hindi ko keri.
What was great though was there was no effort to sensualize the scene, hindi siya ginawang nakakalibog. Walang mood lighting or “artistic” framing or sexy music to amp up the sex dahil hindi yun ang intensyon ng eksena. It was still war and politics, maski umaayuda na sa mukha namin ang wetpak ni Luis Alandy. Deserve ng wetpak ni Luis na bigyan ng mention sa credits. Charot. Si Anthony Falcon rin may nudity, frontal pa, lech lang yung subtitles natakpan ang parts that matter. Lech kasi nacrushan ko siya. Gwapo naman siya di ba i a dugyot kind of way?
For the heaviness ng subject matter, crowd-pleasing ang ending ng “Anino…”. Clapey-clapey ang audience sa UP Film Center as the movie peak to its climactic finale. Hindi kailangan ng ice cream debriefing at all. If you get a chance to rewatch this film, do so, may makikita kayong bago dahil andami niyang layers, for sure more layers than Rogue One.