I kind of get how Ded na Si Lolo might have worked well as a 30 minute comedy episode on TV. Or it might have even translated better as a stage play. But as a movie, it's a disaster.
Mercury (the planet, not the drugstore) is no longer in retrograde, thank goodness. I honestly don't know if I could survive another week of plans going haywire, communication mix ups, technology on the fritz, delays, and various other palpaks. Mercury turns direct today but not without kicking me in the ass one last time. Upon the advice of my editor, and truly upon my own volition, I drove to Festival Mall in Alabang to catch Agaton and Mindy, the latest movie by Peque Gallaga. When I got to the ticket booth, the girl told me Agaton and Mindy had been pulled out after two days. It opened on a Wednesday, lasted all of two days. By Friday it was replaced a movie that was showing two weeks ago: Ded na Si Lolo by Soxie Topacio, another member of Director's Guild of the Philippines. Oh, the ruthless nature of the box office. I asked the ticket booth girl (who was wearing way too much purple eye shadow for a Sunday morning) why Agaton and Mindy was pulled out after two days. "Hindi kasi mabenta, eh," she said. I think it's entirely too bad Agaton and Mindy only lasted a couple of days at Festival Mall. I was really, really, really looking forward to seeing it. There's a 2 minute 45 second trailer on You Tube, and it looks very promising. It's got Cherie Gil as a cigarette-smoking choreographer. (Plus the inimitable Pilita Corales! Theater luminaries Mailes Kanapi and Shamaine Centenera! And the forever dreamy Nonoy Froilan! Argh.) Just for that, I would go and see this movie. Oh wait, I actually went to see it but it was no longer there. C'est dommage, as the French say. Sayang, as we Pinoys say. Hassle, is what I said to myself. So I had to settle for Ded na Si Lolo, a dramedy about guess what–a death in the family. It's pretty much done in the tradition of the Filipino sitcom with lots of actors overacting and talking over one another. Imagine this: Dick Israel as Kuya. Elizabeth Oropesa as Ate. Gina Alajar as Middle Child. Manilyn Reynes as Youngest Sister. And Roderick Paulate as the Youngest Son, who is–of course–a gay impersonator. This dysfunctional family goes through the motions of burying their father while to resolving their deep-seated issues with each other. I kind of get how Ded na Si Lolo might have worked well as a 30 minute comedy episode on TV. Or it might have even translated better as a stage play. But as a movie, it's a disaster. The camera made me dizzy, the sound gave me a headache, the jokes were unfunny, the acting was hammy. And Noel Cabangon singing with his guitar in the middle of the movie did absolutely nothing for me. The only good moments are cameo appearances of two personal favorites. Manny Castañeda, whom I met one crazy night in a gay club in Malate, has a totally gratuitous but entertaining scene; and the fierce Deborah Sun (remember her as the maid Maria in that camp classic Temptation Island?) who appears late in the movie and has no speaking lines. But then again, she doesn't need to add to the chaos. Why are we so addicted to melodrama? Ded na si Lolo image from pep.ph. To read Ria's previous blog posts, click here. To read other blogs, click here.