I am not a fan of Filipino-made films or television programs. Blame it on my colonial upbringing. See, I grew up being kept away from Filipino/Tagalog stuff (mostly reading materials and TV programs) because one, my parents wanted me to learn to speak English. They lavished me with English books and I could watch TV only for American-made shows. Two, they kinda thought many Filipino/Tagalog-made stuff were not ideal for a kid to be exposed to. Yeah, you can call us snobs but my parents meant well.
It’s only as of late (meaning just within the last eight years) that I have learned to patronize (though I do not always end up appreciating) Filipino films (I think it will take so much longer for me to want to be involved with those telenovelas). Why only recently? Because previous to that, when I did begin to watch them, I would almost always only get irritated at how unrealistic and contrived the plot twists are, and how bad the acting was 80% of the time.
Still, I went to see them. Especially since my friends instigated we enjoy a filmfest outing every December. Over time, yes, I do see improvements. Some have also become exceptional. And being such a snob, trust me when I say I think On The Job was a great movie.
I will not give a blow-by-blow analysis of the film’s production and aesthetic values. I am not equipped with the proper academics to thresh these out. But I will emphasize how much I enjoyed watching it and that I wasn’t compelled to grimace every few minutes because of some inconsistency in facts or in acting or whatever. I actually felt the movie was very real in its portrayal of a Filipino’s life in many aspects – how he deals with himself and the society, how society regards him, how one’s life, no matter how hard one tries to be in control, ends up in the hands of someone more powerful and more cunning. And that more often than not, we are but puppets especially if we hold no high government position with the equally high financial assets.
I am not sure if many of you will agree with me if and when you get to see the movie. Each has his own preference and taste when it comes to these things, yes? But well, I maintain this movie is worth watching. The issues the story raises are worth noting. Another review on Click the City will support my stand.
Kudos to director Erik Matti, who co-wrote the screenplay together with Michiko Yamamoto. Kudos to the cast – Joel Torre, Gerald Anderson, Joey Marquez, Piolo Pascual, et al – and the production team who made this possible. I understand now how OTJ drew rave reviews in Cannes earlier this year, and that there are American producers, including Tom Cruise and Mark Wahlberg who are interested in the remake of the film for Hollywood release.
To the Filipino film making industry, more like these, please! 🙂
Oh, and here’s the trailer. Watch…