I attended a star studded celebrity screening for Ang Babae Sa Septik Tank happened last night at the Gateway Mall. I was there to actually see it in commercial run which will start today, August 3 and to finally write a review for another local movie. Truth is, this is the first time I will write a review for an Indie film. I know that Indies has different approach in telling stories and directing. However, it was the applauses and awards of the movie persuaded me to have a say on this.
The story of Septik Tank is a Chronicles a day in the life of three ambitious, passionate but misguided filmmakers as they set out to do a quick pre-prod at Starbucks, a courtesy call to their lead actress, Eugene Domingo, and an ocular inspection of their film’s major location, the Payatas dumpsite. Director Rainier, Producer Bingbong and Production Assistant Jocelyn are well-to-do, well-educated film school graduates who are dead set on making an Oscar worthy film.
They believe they have a winning script, the energy and the drive to make their dreams come true. Like most filmmakers they know, they have devised a screenplay that will show the real essence of our culture: poverty. In the course of one day, they brainstorm and exhaust all possible treatment of their project: the story of Mila (Eugene Domingo), a mother from the slums, who out of desperation to survive, has sold her child to a pedophile. As they discuss the possible executions of the story, the movie-within-a-movie gets reborn in Jocelyn’s imagination several times.
As a gritty no frills neo-realist film, as a glossy musical, as an over-the-top melodrama and as a docu drama using non-actors. For their last task of the day, they visit the dumpsite for the first time. As filmmakers gunning for authenticity, they get excited with the ”beauty” of the squalor around them. Soon enough, they are faced with reality as they come face to face with the real effects of their chosen subject. Babae sa Septic Tank is a comedy about misguided misguided ambitions, the art of making art and the romanticization of poverty.
I like how Director Marlon Rivera provided an intelligent way of explaining to the audience about filming, and how a director himself can play with different genre while sticking with the story. The different version of musical, indie film style and mellow drama gave me an informed idea on why script changes as the movie progresses in actual filming. I like the song. The musical, the people doing the narration, the timing, the wit.
The comic uniqueness of the film are the film’s offer to audience in providing relief to a very simple story. I almost made to believe that I’m just watching a documentary of doing a film when in fact it’s the film already. And how can I forget that car scene? That is the twist of emotion I still can’t let go. It’s when you are on the height of a good state of calm then comes the assailment of the status quo. Bravo direk. I can really feel it!
Last time I saw her doing an indie film was the movie 100. And in the blockbuster StarCinema Movie, Ang Tanging Ina ninyong Lahat Part 3. I never doubted on her since Sa dulo ng Walang Hanggan series. She deserved that Best Actress Trophy in this film.
Ang Babae sa Septic Tank is one of the many blockbusters of Eugene Domingo where her talent is always on display but with different dimensions and shades-and thus reflect her versatility at characterizations. May she be playing leads or support roles.
Ang Babae sa Septic Tank is another testimony to Uge’s on-screen comedic power.
Kean Cipriano and JM De Guzman as well as with Kai Cortez character is also interesting. As I’ve said, they made me believe that they are really director, producer and Production Assistant respectively. Director Rivera was able to bring Cipriano’s best considering this is his first project in the big screen. JM De Guzman is a real charmer. All his shots describes one thing, Heartrob. Kai’s mute character makes it more interesting. I wonder how it would differ should she talks a lot in the film. Just fine.
Wait, I realized one thing. Despite the movie in its almost perfect way of entertaining and educating the audience, I realized that there are punch lines in tagalong that cannot be explained in any other way in English. That I hope should be resolved if we are targeting international audience, a joke that can be funny regardless of language. All in all the film is worth watching.
The film has subtitles and is intended for international screening. I hope this movie will make it to OSCARS. Bravo! Star Cinema is distributing the film in more than 40 Theaters Nationwide. Movie is brought to us by Quantum Films, Martinez-Rivera Films and Straight Shooters Media.
OPENS TODAY! And is our Entry to OSCARS Best Foreign Film.