I had an epiphany last Sunday night when I attended the red carpet premiere of THELMA. I went there to give support to the theme who wants to give us a good and inspiring film. The Genre I wouldn’t exchange for a 3D film.
“The film is a story of mischievous and tomboyish teenage barrio lass from Ilocos Norte. Thelma has a passion for running as this serves as an outlet to unsaddle herself on her life’s misgivings. A disappointment to her farmer father’s dream of having a son for a first-born, she is also an elder sister to a smarter and more passionate little sister. Despite being secretly envious of her kin, they are best friends. One day, her little sister meets an almost fatal accident crippling her for life, a major blow that will change Thelma’s view in life forever. To finance a surgical operation their family could not afford, Thelma takes to athletic running as a means to uplift her family from their financial doldrums. As she ventures on this endeavour, Thelma finds herself faced with challenges, despair, heartbreaks and learnings that enrich her life and more!”
I have known Direk Paul Soriano as director of famous music videos and TV Commercials and have seen his work during his first independent film. He did an inspirational indie drama series “A journey home” last holy week.
I would say that the movie is one of the best films with a good texture and color, –cinematography at its finest.
The film already won me with its first few scenes. I know that the texture is way different from the usual motion pictures I’ve seen this year. The cinematography as well gave justice to golden rays of sunlight and beautiful fields of Ilocos.
Maja Salvador’s performance in THELMA is her best ticket to Best Actress. I never recall any single scene when Maja appeared as herself. Her innocent attack and the way she let her eyes act plus with how she throw the lines. She is one of the best young actresses to watch out. Her portrayal is very THELMA that I can raise my standards on whoever will act as an underdog in the future.
Her scene with Eliza Pineda inside the room where both of them crying without hugging each other, oh that hit me. I have to raise my hands to the superb performance and execution of that scene. I am also impressed with her ability to run and did some very physical scenes running from one point to another. Even though Maja shared to us during the Blogger’s night that she spent around 6 weeks under the supervision of Elma Muros , I admire the courage to really know the character. Jason Abalos character appeared in the middle of the film. And I like how his character added color to Thelma’s character. The romantic touch of the film is not too pushy, enough to tell the audience that the film is about Thelma’s struggle to pursue her dreams.
The timing of musical scoring is very important to deliver the message of the film and I would say that Direk Paul managed to give an emphasis to personal feelings. Enough for me to make a comparison to Award Winning film, Slumdog Millionaire, where I also cited as one of the films with best scoring.
The formula of Tetchie Agbayani and John Arcilla as parents reflects the real scenario of parents in the suburb. I thought the conflict will originate from Parent preventing the dreams of Thelma, but i was wrong. The delivery of the story gave me an impression that the screenplay is a very fresh idea and a well researched material.
The film has English subtitles, needed for the film to translate an Ilocano script. Though sometimes I ended up reading the subtitles instead of looking at the scenes, it is an acceptable format.
The film also showcased the beauty of Northern Luzon. The scenes in the windmills gave the movie an eye candy for travellers and nature lovers with some of the verdant shots in the rice fields. I don’t know if some of the directors in our country also did a good aerial view but well, you have my word, the aerial shots where Maja is Salvador is running, im in awe.
Heres my 5 Best Scenes in the movie:
- Jason Abalos and Maja Salvador at Manila Bay where they talk and walk different ways.
- Scene of Maja Salvador and Eliza Pineda crying.
- Aerial shot of Maja Salvador running.
- John Arcilla and Tetchie Agbayani phonecall scene, and
- Tetchie Agbayani giving tips to Maja Salvador.
This is the kind of movie we need. Inspiring themes and uplifting dreams. There’s a part of me that says “Rod, clap your hands! This is by far the movie that touches yours!”
The film also stars Tetchie Agbayani, John Arcilla, Eliza Pineda, Jason Abalos, Sue Prado and with the special participation of Philippine Track and Field champion Elma Muros, who plays Thelma’s running coach. Presented by Time Horizon Pictures in cooperation with Abracadabra Productions and Underground Logic, “Thelma” is distributed by Star Cinema. The movie opens tomorrow, September 7. Also visit the official THELMA Website http://www.thelma.timehorizon.co
Rod Magaru recommends this FILM. 4.5 STARS