This review may be late but it’s not too late to watch these films on HOOQ!
The 41st Metro Manila Film Festival which was held on December 2015 featured five short films under the New Wave category. Two of these entries caught not only my attention but my whole being.
Lapis by Maricel Cariaga
A pencil artist, already in his fifties, applies for a job as a graphic designer but his confidence was shattered when he found out that his pencils are already preceded by a more advance technology.
The film starts by showing the present – tall buildings, modern transportation, and office workers walking on the busy Ayala Avenue. It’s a beautiful and familiar sight which speaks to many.
Once Soliman Cruz walks into frame, he sits beside the young applicants. There you will start to notice the gaps. While one applicant uses her tablet to draw, Cruz is seen using the traditional pencil (lapis) and paper. As this scene builds up leading to the interview, we finally saw Cruz realizing that modern technology has overshadowed his medium.
While watching this, the first thing that popped into my head is the concern for those who didn’t get a chance like we did. This emotional punch made Maricel Cariaga’s Lapis unforgettable even if the film only lasted eight minutes.
Mumu by Jean Cheryl Tagyamon
Kara thinks she’s out of luck – she’s a fresh graduate who doesn’t want to venture into her nursing career, she’s got a nagging mother who keeps on talking about it, and she has an annoying set of “successful” friends to be envied with. Most importantly, she’s being haunted by a ghost.
Mumu or ghost may be scary but it’s the kind that everyone experiences and must be faced. In this case, it is faced by our protagonist Kara (Sari Estrada) who is a nursing graduate. But instead of reviewing for her licensure examination, she would rather go to auditions.
Does that sound familiar? Sari Estrada’s character is indeed relatable and that includes the ghost haunting her. The female ghost that has been following her is actually her. This represents her emotions, thoughts, and desires.
Jean Cheryl Tagyamon’s creation and Sari Estrada interpretation clearly worked well in this film. It gave us not only a relatable and funny character but also the frustrations we all have experienced and overcame.
If you get a chance, watch Lapis by Maricel Cariaga and Mumu by Jean Cheryl Tagyamon on HOOQ.