Time Out rating:
<strong>Rating: </strong><span class='lf-avgRating'>3</span>/5
Not yet rated
Time Out says
Fri Sep 18 2009The awarding of Cannes’ best director prize to Mendoza surprised most critics at the festival. The first part is vibrant and engaging: we follow young police cadet Peping (Martin) and his girlfriend Cecille (Cabral) as they travel through Manila to attend their wedding with a handful of friends and family. Mendoza and cameraman Flores are adept at sweeping up the chaotic energy of the modern city. The next day, a friend of Peping persuades him, for cash, to join a group of renegade policemen as they kidnap a prostitute, Madonna (Lopez), who owes money to a police chief, and take her to a remote basement, where she’s raped and killed. There’s little subtlety to the dark and grim presentation of this crucial turning point in a young man’s life – we see everything in brutal, horrific close-up. And while Mendoza is to be applauded for not shying away from reality, one must also question the difference, if any, between the cops’ slaughter of a prostitute for their own ends and the director’s matter of fact, awkward deployment of her fate to illustrate a young’s man rite of passage into a violent, corrupt adult life. The word exploitation comes to mind.
Author: Dave Calhoun