Rosa is a mother of a family known in his neighborhood. Manager of a small shop, she uses her institution to cover drug trafficking in which it participates. Until the day where she gets to swing and that the police arrived to stop him, she and her husband…

Brillante Mendoza has always wanted to film the precarious living conditions in Manila. MA ROSA opens, therefore, as a pure film social as it follows a heroine in her daily routine. The first act strives to depict the banality of a life where the goal is survival, rather than life. Everyone asks for money, everyone negotiates… And in the middle, the drug is introduced in the narrative as a normal element, without importance. It is part of everyday life. This doing and this survival, it is somewhere that the cinema of Mendoza has always filmed. These Philippines where bad acts are sometimes the only way to continue to exist.

MA ROSA provides a pretty scary, between the corruption of local authorities and individualism. Everyone balance everyone to get out of it. And Rosa balance its supplier, but before that, someone else threw it. And surely someone else will still be ratted behind. This vicious circle, the movie shows it well, by making opaque the border between good and evil. Cops are corrupt ask for money to release Rosa and who participates in the prize pool ? A commissioner of police. Just like a dealer called a Major when he is arrested. Brillante Mendoza watch this little game as a normality of life in his country, in exactly the same way that it concluded, Kinatay , where the discovery of pieces of the body prevalent in the city was part of the everyday life of a population.

It should not be put off by the camera to the shoulder when it launches in MA ROSA. Mendoza makes Mendoza with his hand-held camera reacting to the action, which gives this famous impression of believing in a documentary more than a work of fiction. In this style the gross, the director of us loses a little. Between movements troublesome and updates, to the vanishing point, the image confronts us with the eyes. The sound design is in the same vein, the sounds of the city (and the rain) we are stifling, to participate in return an atmosphere of desolation. The visual treatment plays now against the film, we are immersed by duty. In other words, by sticking his camera in the nearest of the events, we find ourselves immersed without actually create a link of empathy with the characters. As if it gave priority to the action at the expense of its characters, the immediacy rather than the preparation.

Yet the film works well for a good hour, the director of the philippines are great when it captures the atmosphere of the city, a veritable anthill of poverty. His light, unmannered blatant gives the image of the trappings of realism. Everything seems to be done to play on the style. Alas, to the detriment of plot, and a pace that frayed in the second hour. Something misbehaves in the company Mendoza this time. The suspense and unease of the scene of the police station is not a foretaste of the hell that we are going to live but almost the top of the feature film. MA ROSA book its best scenes when he is in an exercise of oppression imposed by a unity of place. The camera nerve related to a limitation of the space can deliver two times where one retains literally his breath. While the passage at the police station mentioned before but also during the stage of spinning, where Rosa is waiting in the car, than she has ratted vienna.

With MA ROSA, something stuck in the company Mendoza. Click to tweet

I do not understand how the director of the philippines was able to lose her grip, her art of letting go of the punches francs and dry. When the movie has become difficult, he plays the inexplicably small arms. Not that we are trying to be shocked by pure pleasure, but the reservation that it poses defuses a possible tension. Has the image of the whole of the last part where the children begin to search for the money for the deposit. All the galley inherent to Manila no longer seem to reach the narrative of a coup. The film falls into a platitude visual and narrative preventing you to be concerned. Perhaps we are accustomed to cinema and MA ROSA demonstrates a need for renewal. The script at the potential on paper is not confirmation of any promise once made in the image due to the formal processing closed in on himself. Mendoza tries to catch up with us by the feelings in extremis but it is already too late. The shock that was expected never really occurred.

Published on may 18, 2016.

Maxime Bedini

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