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‘Inanities’ imposed on public yearly

12:37 AM January 27, 2015

I agree with Stephen Monsanto: The annual festival of “inanities” should no longer be imposed on all of us (“MMFF: The battle to be at ‘top of the heap,’” Opinion, 1/21/15). He was referring to the Metro Manila Film Festival which, according to him, turned up mostly “misadventures in money-making mediocrities.” I was particularly miffed by the fact that I had no choice but to endure watching a locally produced movie to while away the hours, as my parents attended to some business in a mall last December.

I’m not much of a “history” buff so I shied away from “Bonifacio,” more so because I don’t particularly find Robin “Bad Boy” Padilla starrers worth even my idle time. So I went for “English Only, Please” (supposedly a “feel-good” movie), enticed by the hoopla that its lead actors had won awards for that film. Little did I realize I was in for a major, major squirming!

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The plot was total trash: A Fil-Am (Derek Ramsay) decided to touch base in the Philippines primarily to hunt his ex-girlfriend who dumped him for another guy. He learned she was in the Philippines and embarked on a mission to dump a load of angry diatribes on her—in Tah-ga-log (his accent, mind you, was on the first syllable)! For that purpose alone, he went online for a local translator to hire and ended up with a pretty, quirky girl (Jennylyn Mercado).

Two things that made me want to leave my seat before getting sicker to my stomach: First, Ramsay and his ex (another Fil-Am?) were supposed to be in a relationship while in the United States. Obviously, both of them had no problem speaking and understanding the same language then: English! Why he needed an interpreter so badly to translate his

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English expletives and help him mouth them in Tagalog to her kept me wondering up to the very end! Did she suddenly become a mental retard upon setting foot on Philippine soil? I waited patiently for some sense of it all. Needless to say, I waited in vain!

Second, Ramsay had starred in so many local films before and spoken Tagalog like a native! All movie-goers knew that! It was stretching credulity too far seeing him in that movie struggling so hard with that tongue! To some it might have seemed cute-funny, but to many others it was downright ridiculous! Let’s face it, some actors just don’t fit the characters they portray.

Given the utter silliness of that movie, how in the world did it manage to win any award for any of its actors? Truly, the MMFF is just all about “bankable stars” and humongous profits for local firm producers. All that talk about “showcasing local cinematographic ingenuity” is poppycock!

—ARNULFO M. EDRALIN,

[email protected]

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TAGS: inanities, letters, Metro Manila Film Festival
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