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Before Maria Isabel Lopez took the role of Madonna, she had to ask permission from her two children and husband. Like Rosanna Roces who had rejected the movie, Maria Isabel was initially hesitant to accept the role since it required nudity. Her husband and children agreed with certain condition, thus she accepted the role. See more »
A film that effectively shows how "natural" a gruesome act can be.
After reading reviews of Kinatay, I decided to watch the film, but it was so rare I can't find it in the internet. Luckily, I found it in a CD shop in a mall and bought it.
The first scenes had a feeling of ordinary life in the shanties of urban Philippines, displaying the bouncy/cheerful personality of Filipinos. However, the ordinary setting takes an abrupt turn upon the start of the mid-section of the movie, where the dark ambiance begin to ooze.
The actors, as aided by unconventional found-footage style camera angles, really did well in making the scenes appear so natural, so as to make the viewer really believe he is an invisible spectator on the actual site. The eerie background music was minimal and effectively placed in scenes that actually require it, enhancing the psychological effect on the viewer.
The flow doesn't hurry in switching scenes. It maintains a slow pace, even until the ending, which is so unconventional but effective. At the end, it leaves the viewer "hanging" because its ending can only offer implications.
What makes the movie really stand out is the sheer natural attitude the characters portray for an extremely brutal and insane act, as viewed by a direct witness. As an indie film, it is not expected to have a spectacular production value, so there would be scenes that are so dark and silent (or both at the same time), and others used to commercial movies might find it boring and lame. If you want something dark and psychologically affecting because it shows how "natural" a grisly act is, then this film should be in your list.
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