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Sam Milby
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Chin Chin Gutierrez ...
Racquel
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Lyra
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call center | See All (1) »

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Drama | Thriller

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3 December 2008 (Philippines)  »

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Tries Hard but Ends Up with Nothing Much
4 December 2008 | by (Quezon City, Philippines) – See all my reviews

This was the only movie that was going to start right when I got to the mall, so I chose to gamble on it. As if emphasizing the sorry state of the current local movie industry, I think I am absolutely the only person in the whole theater for that entire showing!

Granted it is a Filipino indie film, I was ready to accept its unpolished look, grainy lighting, shaky camera work, the long stretches of just music or silence, unsteady and erratic editing. I had such high hopes that this would be an indie film worth its ticket and the time spent. But ultimately, it is the weakness of the story that spelled its doom.

Sam Milby is the unnamed protagonist who supposedly works for a call center. Too bad this job did not really matter in the whole scheme of things. He could have been working any job. Too bad the script did not take advantage of the potentially interesting backdrop of the call center industry.

Sam did not flash his familiar 100-watt smile anytime in this at all. So you can imagine how sinister his eyes actually look. He had that dour look for the whole length of the film. To his credit, he did have one very good dramatic scene...AT THE VERY END!

Jody Sta. Maria is really a very good and natural actress. She plays Raquel, a fellow call center agent. I like her here, but again the twist about her character is one big question mark (that I did not bother to ponder anymore).

Ms. Chin Chin Gutierrez characteristically plays a mysterious woman named Lyra Guzman. She plays a night club chanteuse who is involved with a shady "man in black," played so much against type by the versatile Bodjie Pascual. Up to the very end, you do not really know who she is, and that is frustrating.

You know the effort is there, but there was practically no coherent story to tell. There were so many convenient, yet unexplained coincidences, like the calling card, the mask, unlocked doors, etc... The initial premise was promising but the storytelling was an unfortunate mess. And being indie is no excuse for that.


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