Cinemalaya X 2014 (Day 1): Kasal, The Janitor – Medyo Stress. Medyo lang.

Things are bound to get complicated for Atty. Sherwin and Direk Paolo in Joselito Altarejos' Kasal
Things are bound to get complicated for Atty. Sherwin and Direk Paolo in Joselito Altarejos’ Kasal (Taken from Kasal’s FB page)

On Jose Altarejos’ Kasal (Directors Showcase):

  • The main premise is that we have the story of this couple – 3 years into the relationship: One half wants to get married – or to commit – and the other is not privy to the idea. Do I need to mention that they’re both men?
  • Let me first state that I’m not saying its a bad film. On things that I loved about the film: I love how undeniably Filipino it is, especially the Wedding Festivities in the Province. The acting was also convincing, especially Ruby Ruiz’s acting as the parent of Attorney’s totoy would-be-brother-in-law. So genuine. And yeah, Arnold Reyes (hehe).
  • My issue with it is that there were a lot of issues touched upon in the film, a lot of things being said. Maybe that’s why I was a bit stressed out watching it?
  • First, the macro issues: A lot of realities portrayed in this film about marriage; How same-sex marriage is virtually impossible in the Philippines, the influence of Catholicism on Filipino parents and how it pressures young people as young as their 20s to get married once they get pregnant, RH Bill, annulment, Couples opting not to have kids, Parents depending on their kids to get the family out of poverty
  • Then, if you’d look at on the personal level, on the complications that were haunting Attorney Sherwin  and Direk Paolo’s relationship, you have the following things: On the meaning of marriage for a person – is it just something on paper, is it just something done for legal purposes? Or is it a vow of commitment to be with the person you love no matter what?  On the level of preparedness of a person for marriage: Is the person willing to let go of his or her obligations to their family, Is the family willing to let go of the person getting married?
  • Then with them being in a homosexual relationship in the Philippines, it adds a whole different layer of conflict: How ‘out’ or ‘pa-mhin’ one half of the couple is, and if the other half willing to accept it if the other sort of denies you and your relationship in public, the concept of being in an open relationship, the family accepting the person’s sexuality
  • And then you have something that probably couples face: The willingness to forgive the person you love the most
  • The fact that I wrote these things, and they’re a lot. So.Much.Conflict and Complications. Not to mention the shaky camera and the feeling that there were unecessary scenes. Hay, sakit sa ulo!
Those Moro-Moro masks are really creepy. Taken from Cinemalaya 2014 FB Page
Those Moro-Moro masks are really creepy. Taken from Cinemalaya 2014 FB Page

On Mike Tuviera’s ‘The Janitor’:

  • On my way home riding a Jeepney, I was thinking why the film was titled: ‘The Janitor’ when Dennis Trillo only disguised himself as a Janitor once in the film. Then it hit me: “Anu bang ginagawa ng Janitor…NAGLILINIS! T*ngna, kaya pala Janitor!”
  • Basically, that was what Crisanto Espina (played by Dennis Trillo), former Laguna Cop, does for the whole movie. But he doesn’t literally clean up a workplace or a building. He does ‘cleanup’ jobs that the Philippine National Police are not really too keen on doing. In this case, “cleaning up” suspects of the Savings Bank Robbery-Murder case
  • It is basically an action film, and somehow they managed to include some MMA within those action scenes
  • Coming from watching Kasal, I really appreciate how cleanly shot the scenes were
  • It was getting formulaic somewhere in the middle, then BAM!, plot twist (as Crissy over here said). But then you kind of expect it to happen anyway, because, come on, after 2 successful rounds of ‘Boss-gives-lead-follow suspect-kill suspect’ sequences, you’ll start to think that it couldn’t be this easy and there’s something amiss
  •  No complaints on the acting or on the action scenes, or the casting. In fact, Dennis Trillo acting dejected towards the end of the film was really convincing.
  • Thinking though that Derek Ramsey must be having a field day since for once he’s not acting on a Mistress film
  • The symbolisms used though were sort of obvious. Sweeping the pictures of your suspects? The mask used in moro-moro plays as the ending shot – symbolizing that [SPOILER ALERT] everything was just Moro-Moro? Not so clever for me.
  • So what was in this film that was stressing to watch? Well the fact that he’s basically assasinating people and a Viral Toture Device reportedly used by the PNP got portrayed in this film. The audience were literally squirming in their seats. I was covering my eyes.

One thought on “Cinemalaya X 2014 (Day 1): Kasal, The Janitor – Medyo Stress. Medyo lang.

  1. Hi, Culture Connoisseur sa Kanto! I’ve also watched The Janitor and, like you, I find it highly stressing. Exhausting, grabe. Na-off balance ako after ko panuorin. Eh yan pa naman ang una naming pinanuod during our Cinemalaya movie marathon. Bigat. Hehehe. I find the Moroiones masks clever, though, as well as the “tagalinis” metaphor. And I did like the film, in the way that dark things and shadows are to be liked: you acknowledge it, but you’d rather not talk about it. 🙂

    See you around and cheers to the next cultural adventure!

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