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Metro Manila (2013)

Not Rated | | Action, Crime, Drama | 20 September 2013 (UK)
Trailer
1:44 | Trailer
Seeking a brighter future in megacity Manila, Oscar Ramirez and his family flee their impoverished life in the rice fields of the northern Philippines. But the sweltering capital's bustling... See full summary »

Director:

Sean Ellis

Writers:

Sean Ellis (screenplay), Frank E. Flowers (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
Nominated for 1 BAFTA Film Award. Another 9 wins & 10 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Jake Macapagal ... Oscar Ramirez
John Arcilla ... Douglas Ong
Althea Vega ... Mai Ramirez
Erin Panlilio Erin Panlilio ... Angel Ramirez
Iasha Aceio Iasha Aceio ... Baby Ramirez
Mailes Kanapi ... Charlie (as Angelina Kanapi)
JM Rodriguez JM Rodriguez ... Alfred Santos
Ana Abad Santos ... Dora Ong
Moises Magisa Moises Magisa ... Buddha (as Moises Mag Isa)
Reuben Uy ... JJ
Mario Visto Mario Visto ... Banaue Rice Traders
Daniel Magisa Daniel Magisa ... Conman #1 (as Danny Mag Isa)
Ray Aragon Ray Aragon ... Conman #2
Jervie Cajarop Jervie Cajarop ... Police Officer
Jhay Castillo Jhay Castillo ... Slum Housing Officer
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Storyline

Seeking a brighter future in megacity Manila, Oscar Ramirez and his family flee their impoverished life in the rice fields of the northern Philippines. But the sweltering capital's bustling intensity quickly overwhelms them, and they fall prey to the rampant manipulations of its hardened locals. Oscar Ramirez catches a lucky break when he's offered steady work for an armored truck company and gregarious senior officer Ong takes him under his wing. Soon, though, the reality of his work's mortality rate and the murky motives of his new partner force Oscar to confront the perils he faces in his new job and life. The movie portrays how far a man can go for his family.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Desperate men take desperate measures.

Genres:

Action | Crime | Drama

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Oscar's story of Alfred Santos is based on the Philippine Airlines Flight 812 hijacking on May 25, 2000. See more »

Goofs

The reason the plate changes is that it is a different day and they don't take the same truck everyday. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Anthropoid Press Conference (2015) See more »

Soundtracks

Ebben... Ne andro lontana
Performed by Maria Callas
Performed by The Philharmonia Orchestra
Conducted by Tullio Serafin
Courtesy of EMI Records Limited
See more »

User Reviews

 
A well-made, efficient crime drama from the Philippines
14 November 2014 | by brchthethirdSee all my reviews

METRO MANILA is as much a heartbreaking drama of trying to make it in the big city as it is a crime thriller, probably even more so. Sean Ellis, who directed, wrote, produced and did the cinematography has crafted an excellent story that, while a little too familiar in some respects, is still powerfully acted and beautifully shot. In fact, the visual authenticity is what gripped me the most. Having been to the Philippines a couple of times, I felt like these were locations that I had seen before (even though I hadn't been to the ones specifically used for the film). There are dozens of shots capturing all of the various aspects of life in Manila, from the squalor of the slums to the bright lights of the Metro area. Everything is shown, and nothing is held back. The cinematographic choices also lend a degree of realism to the drama of the story.

As far as acting is concerned, everyone did a good job as far as I could tell, although some line readings did seem to be a little off. In particular, the actors who played Oscar Ramirez and Douglas Ong stood out. The story the film tells is quite a familiar one, although the execution and setting is what make it seem fresh. Basically, Oscar moves his family from the rice terraces of Banaue to Manila, in hopes that they will be able to make a better living. Oscar gets a job as an armored car driver, while his wife Mai takes a job at a hostess bar (similar to juice bars in South Korea). While there, both are confronted with the harsh realities of city life and are forced to make difficult choices for themselves. Seeing some of the things that they, Mai in particular, have to go through was painful to watch at times, but it helped in making these people easy to sympathize with. Generally, the story doesn't take too many surprising turns, but the way in which it ends was definitely emotionally satisfying.

As far as the action is concerned, while the film seems to be billed as a crime thriller, this isn't entirely accurate. Yes, crime is a part of the overall narrative, but at its heart the film is a family drama. This might disappoint people going in hoping for a shoot-em-up, but this film is more thought-provoking than it is riveting in an action-film sense. Trying to escape poverty is one of the film's biggest themes, and the way in which this was portrayed is, in my opinion, what sets it apart from other movies like it. Overall, I thought that the film was well-made, well-acted, well-shot, etc., even if the story wasn't the most original. Fans of foreign and Filipino cinema should definitely check this out, and I would also recommend it to anyone willing to give it a chance.


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Details

Country:

UK | Philippines

Language:

Tagalog

Release Date:

20 September 2013 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

Metro Manila See more »

Filming Locations:

Philippines See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

GBP250,000 (estimated)

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$200,584
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Chocolate Frog Films See more »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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