Wednesday, 30 May 2018

Movie Review: Ang Panahon ng Halimaw

In the late 70s, a gang of militias, under the control of the military, terrorizes a remote village in the Philippines.The terror being inflicted on the populace is not just corporal but intensely psychological as well. They were constantly fed with apocryphal tales about the village leader. A few souls are not giving up. They are fighting. The poet/teacher/activist, Hugo Haniway, decides to find out the truth about the disappearance of his wife. A love story set in the darkest period of Philippine history, the Marcos Dictatorship. The narrative and the characters are a composite of real events and real people that happened and existed during the period.

Its another quality and relevant film from the master of slow cinema Lav Diaz. A different kind of style in storytelling, this time via rock opera musical but still its intention and message are clear and eye opening with the current social political events. The film's power comes from the visuals and the miserable longing express in the songs that mourn the fate of our country during martial law era. Appreciate the cast effort in acting and singing at the same time giving us an affecting scenes to ponder on. I like and enjoy the vocal prowess by Bituin Escalante and Pinky Amador in this film. Piolo Pascual gave an effective and touching performance as a poet and activist victim of Martial Law while Shaina Magdayao I think gave her best performance so far in a film in Ang Panahon ng Halimaw. I really got affected in her musical scenes which she gave all the emotions required for her character and was also quite impress with her singing voice in this film. Aside from the melody and lyrics of the songs used in this film that stays with you after watching, it's the statement of the film that will make you reflect that history repeats itself. I can say that this is one of my favorite Lav Diaz's film.

My Verdict: 5/5

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