Tuesday, October 6

Kinatay (Philippines, 2009)


Like Joseph Garcin in Jean Paul-Sartre's No Exit, Peping didn't realize that the room he was about to enter was hell. And when it dawned on him somewhere between buying balut and the ragged butchering, he couldn't---didn't---want to leave the safety of being in the dark.

Geography and malice are indiscernibles; the mind is in equal footing with matter. The dark, chaotic streets of Manila may as well be purgatory, twisting and squeezing the morality out of the film.

There are no surprises in Brillante Mendoza's parable of a young man's descent to something less human, but it is hypnotic. It is an experience, more than anything else.

This was supposed to be my shelter from the storm. Trapped in a mall while a typhoon drowned and destroyed Metro Manila, Kinatay became the dangerously perfect metaphor to the (perceived) pointlessness of it all.

Its blanket nihilism makes the film susceptible to both severe criticism and blind praises. It is an empty canvas.

A negative space.

Politics. Censorship. Arthouse experiment. A heart of darkness.

You decide.

5 comments:

dodo dayao said...

Na-miss ko ang Kinatay dahil kay Ondoy,

Pero napamura ako sa review mo, Thor. Beautiful. Sa Tagalog - - -wasak. :)

Sana ipalabas ulit.

Thor Bee said...

Thanks, Do. Para mapa-mura ka, ibang klase yun. :D

Kinatay is a curious creature, still don't know what to make of it. Hehe. But it bugs and tugs.

Andy said...

I plan on writing about Kinatay in my blog, kaya lang inunahan mo nanaman ako. :D

dodo dayao said...

Finally saw Kinatay Thor. That long van ride is probably the most chilling depiction of a descent into hell that I've seen put on film, local or otherwise, roadkill and all. Reminded me of that loooong highway sequence in Solaris (a metaphor for space travel) . . .only,you know, disquieting.

And I agree with what you said about the flat tire scene. Nakakaihi kahit 'di ka naiihi.

Thor Bee said...

@Andy: Go! Go! I would love to read your thoughts on Kinatay.

@Dodo: Yes on the long van ride. Madonna whimpering, the violence under flickering shadows, and the chaos/normalcy on the streets shook me to the core.

Galing ng nasiraan na taxi eh. Very restless. Just like I was after the movie.