I never thought this movie would turn out to be such a trailblazer, an absolute melodrama and a true entertainer, completely like a Philippine equivalent of a Amitabh Bachhan/Paul Newman film, replete with The Beatles too! I thoroughly enjoyed my first Brocka film and got a peek into the Philippine mainstream industry in its most glorious, as claimed by many. The story is an epic one, much in the vein of older Bollywood films, with an old mother, embittered twins, vamps trapping the hero, show biz, betrayals and innocent love, mainly focusing on how one changes with glamor and how one's decisions are made mockery of by the sands of time. And towards the end the film made me moist, and in spite of being very melodramatic, it manages to maintain a pacy story and a sensible one too, at that, with an expertly synchronized screenplay and some very good acting. The video and color quality was very bad and the subtitles were not visible at more than a few places, and even though I was getting a bit wary in the beginning, I ended up loving this film. And the thing that I liked most about this is how the elaborate story is perfectly choreographed and each character's journey is properly fleshed out in limited but well used screen time. This is a feature that allegedly separates Brocka's films from other mainstream productions of that time - character development. He skillfully gives his characters more shades and more dimensions than you would usually spot in a melodrama and that gives the movie a certain believability and reality which wouldn't have otherwise happened. And trust me, it doesn't spoil the potboiler, rather enhances the ride, and in my eyes this is a great confluence of artistic and mass sensibilities, and there are very few other movies I could name in that space.
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