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07 August 2014

Cinemalaya 2014: "1st ko si 3rd" (Film Review)

Comedy does not often get the recognition it deserves. Most specifically, comedic actors are sometimes considered inferior to their dramatic counterpart.  However, being funny is harder especially if you are not supposed to play funny. The hardest thing is to let the character become naturally funny in a specific situation. This can only be done if the comedian understands his or her character, and so the littlest gestures and the tinge of pain in the face are what illicit laughter.

I have said in the past that the best comedians are the character actors because they often do not try to be funny; they just imbibe the essence of the character and let the audience members see the humorous aspect of the character.   

For most of us, Nova Villa is a veteran television comedy female actor. She also plays the occasional mother roles in light comedy/light drama programs. On the other hand, her talent as a complete thespian has never been highlighted in feature films. In “1st ko si 3rd,” Villa shines.  We do not see a comedian trying to reel in laughter from the audience, as in the case of Vice Ganda. We see a 60-year old woman trying to make sense of her new life after retirement, dealing with boredom and resurfacing lost feelings, and coming to terms with aging with her husband. All these complicated feelings contained in the persona of Cory (Nova Villa). Villa is endearingly funny and great playing the role of Cory because we see Cory in Villa’s performance, but at the same time, we are also drawn by Villa’s public persona. The effect is instant connection with the character. Many of us may not be able to relate to the problems of Cory, but Villa’s charisma and our familiarity with her fuel our interest. In the end, we willingly accompanied Cory on her personal journey, and we later felt the weight of her final breakdown.

“1st Ko si 3rd” is not a groundbreaking comedy. It is light. It is unpretentious but it is all heart, something some sophisticated or avant-garde films do not possess. The film allows us to feel the unspoken pain between laughter, which is what life and love is all about, isn't it? Kudos to director Real Florida for creating this “little gem.”

Which Films Should You Watch in this Year's Cinemalaya (2014)
Critics' Awards
Post-Analysis Essay (soon) 

2014 Entries

2013 Cinemalaya Essays
What is a Critic?
Our Choices: 2013 Cinemalaya

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