MMFF Movie Review: Family Matters

“Your phone will always be there, but I wont be..

This is one but one of the best lines of the film, Family Matters. A heartwarming and only contemporary family drama and an official entry to the 48th Metro Manila Film Festival (MMFF) by Cineko Productions. I had but one productive whole day to the cinema for my annual MMFF tradition. I had skipped all advanced screenings because I wanted to not feel hostage on my movie perceptions so here I am (un)fresh from 10 hours movie marathon.

Family Matters revolve around Florencio Family who conflicted with family issues on who will take care of their senior parents given they already have families and running their own lives. Its ensemble tobilled by Noel Trinidad, Liza Lorena, Nonie Buencamino, Agot Isidro, Mylene Dizon, James Blanco, Nikki Valdez, JC Santos, Ina Feleo, Roxanne Guinoo, Ketchup Eusebio, Ian Pangilinan and a lot more.

I think Filipino will be more appreciate of this kind of movies given how pandemic taught us a lot of things. And spending time with those that truly matters to us is essential, you will definitely identify yourselves in the movie. Like how I relate to Ellen’s character. (Ignore this, that’s for another vlog).

It’s been a while since I was blown away by big family films like Tanging Yaman (2000) and Sa’yo Lamang (2010). Both have large casts, major plots, and confrontation scenes, but what distinguishes Family Matters in its portrayal is that it does not require a major conflict to resolve. The power of life’s what ifs and self-awareness completely defined the narrative. The film’s act is not the result of a fatal accident, dowry, or family fortune. It is confronting your own morals as an adult that gives the film depth, and it is enough to make my throat dry at times.

To a point, I like how it isn’t melodramatic. I was trying to avoid cringy scenarios in the past and was relieved that Family Matters didn’t bring them up. It’s just smooth and orderly pacing that keeps you smiling until the end.

I think I’d like to view it as a travelogue of life, If you will close your eyes, you’ll be convinced that It’s a podcast for adult, its a vlog of legitimate Filipino family gatherings rolled into one. It is if not but a perfect film. It is a testament of good writing, directing and pacing. It is delightful to watch.

Initially for James, I thought you were blind since your posture, or blocking moves like you’re gasping for objects. I’m sorry to perceive as such. For Nikki, Agot and Mylene, they brought that character relatable and charismatic. For Nonie, that deserves an acting nod. And for Sir Noel and Mam Liza properly portraying the matriarchy and patriarchy on equal footing, I could not ask for more.

I do hope that more Filipino families will be able to see it, if not during the festival season. Surprisingly, I didn’t know it was produced by Mayor Rico Roque, the one I voted for last election. The film is directed by Nuel Naval and written by Mel Mendoza-del Rosario. Both excelling in their craft. And did I mention how its musical score helped a lot? That’s deserve another nod. I think the real blind in this festival are the judges for missing out on a lot of silver linings in this project.

My final rating for Family Matters >>> 9/10.


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