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04 August 2014

Cinemalaya 2014: “Hari ng Tondo” (Film Review)

Simply put, “Hari ng Tondo” is uplifting, funny, very entertaining, skillfully directed and feudally amazing (1). The film is a Disney musical with fewer songs and without the cartoons. If you scrutinize the film carefully, all the classic Disney characters are present. Look for the princess, the prince, the King, the Evil Queen, the traitor, the dwarfs, and the scary forest called Tondo. 

Only Carlito Siguion-Reyna can direct such a feel good movie that warms the heart of every middle class viewer and bury the guilt of the oligarchy.  Fifteen minutes into the film, viewers can safely assume that the story will end up optimistically but without really questioning the status quo. Actually, the film did explore the cause of poverty, but in the end, the rich returns to the security of their cars. The film is so patronizing; it is a guilt trip. It still baffles me that any person will be clueless about the extreme poverty in this country, even if you have been a multi-millionaire for decades. Just turn on the television and watch Jessica Soho or Kara David, you will get the picture.

I still recommend “Hari ng Tondo,” just not to people with their eyes wide open.

(1) “Feudally” is not in the dictionary actually. Credit this word to writer’s artistic license

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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