Before he became one of the world's greatest boxers, Emmanuel "Manny" Pacquiao was a young boy living a hand-to-mouth existence, trying to survive from one day to the next. When he ...
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Before he became one of the world's greatest boxers, Emmanuel "Manny" Pacquiao was a young boy living a hand-to-mouth existence, trying to survive from one day to the next. When he discovers his natural talent for boxing, he embarks on a brutal and intense journey that takes him from the mountains of the Philippines to the streets of Manila, and must risk everything to become a champion - for himself, his family, and his country.Written by
Stunning Cinematography Rules Over Flawed Narrative
The latest Paul Soriano movie chronicles the early life and humble beginnings of Manny Pacquiao, who for many, is a hero. The mere mention of the name is compelling enough to ignite interest among curious audience, but this movie isn't about the hero Manny has become today, it's about KID KULAFU, the zero he once was.
KID KULAFU feeds on the tragedies and sacrifices of the young Manny Pacquiao and his family, to deliver its message with utmost effectivity. The spine of the whole narrative alone, is haunting enough, but it struggles to construct a coherent and fluid storyline. The real problem here is that so many things are happening but almost nothing gets resolved—one dramatic moment looms up and shifts abruptly to another, killing the excitement before it could even hit home, like a potentially strong blow that never landed on the face. Such lack of congruence takes away the heat and ceases the momentum, and leaves the critical audience wondering if the rest of the movie has still something left that could be of any sense.
Yet, no matter how messed up and terribly flawed KID KULAFU's script is, it does what it is designed to accomplish: highlight Manny Pacquiao, sell his name and earn further respect and recognition. That seems the very point of dotting the entire narrative with dramatic expositions—regardless of how more often than not they felt unnecessary—that enumerates Manny's endless string of struggles. Working against this scarcely-written material, are brilliant actors who are left with nothing but to do their job. Alessandra de Rossi is an effective Mommy Dionisia here, forget her forced visayan accent, and she's perfect, as is Cesar Montano for his role. But most strikingly, is Buboy Villar, who for most part, effectively portrayed Manny. To forget the beautiful and crisp cinematography, and the effective musical scoring doesn't sound forgivable, too. For a maindie production, the visual drama is quite superb, and together with a timely inserted score, somehow and often not sustained, the movie is able to tug at the heartstrings.
KID KULAFU throws as many punches as it can to impress its audience, yet only a few are precise enough to hit its targets. Yet again, on those few moments where it does, the movie delivers exactly what it is supposed to offer: a front seat view to the young life of one of the greatest boxers of our time, a glimpse of an icon's rough and rocky road to success, and a message of courage and determination to those who are on the same path as Manny. If this is a big boxing event, there's no denying in Manny ending up being victorious, only not unanimously, and certainly, not by knockout
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