Why Don’t You Come to Your Senses?
In a season more familiar with everyone as a social escape, it is advisable to go to the movies and be totally away from the negative pulses in the real world. The movies that were shown in the Metro Manila Film Festival have been celebrated by a lot of the Filipino population for this cause. At least three are comic while one is animated.
And what is to be happier this season than to watch comedy, right? Tony Reyes’s Iskul Bukol: 20 Years After and Joel Lamangan’s Desperadas 2 are top-billed by famous comediennes in the industry, and would predictably bring the house, or movie house, down.
If Iskul Bukol has a glitzy cast of macho men, Desperadas 2 consists of mostly female stars, who play rich, educated, employed, and almost physically perfect half-sisters. Each of them faces different problems as they altogether solve all of it.
The problems range from having a gay husband to a talkative daughter to post-partum blues- problems which obviously are too shallow for the most married young women who live in the urban region. The other housewives and employed mothers from the real world, who find other difficulties like paying the electric bills, enrolling the kids to a school or finding a more decent place to live in, are strongly disregarded. The women portrayed in this movie are so gorgeous and superficial, having a zit could drive them to suicide. Amidst the nonsense of high-class feminine living, the characters of Ruffa Gutierrez and the others do get by… through shopping and dressing good. A perfect life.
To add to the circus, their long lost half-sister Lugaluda who is entirely iba from them arrives. She speaks and acts ridiculously, and she looks really unattractive compared to the other four with her dark complexion and fat physique. So at first, she is being discriminated. Truly, she is a great example of how the myth of the tall, fair and beautiful among the Filipino women still prevails in the society. It is only after doing favors for all of them like paying the bail of one of the main cast, did Lugalda get considered as an official member of the sisters.
These two movies present the two sides of the contemporary Filipina: one who is being exploited (that if you look unpleasant, you’d be discriminated) and one who exploits (that to be in power, you must be rich, smart and beautiful). These women are represented in the veneer of humor only to get laughed at for real.