Two Films of Two Boys

6:22 am PHT

To close the movie reviews for 2005, I’m gonna talk about the film of the boy who lived and that of the boy who bloomed. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire and Ang Pagdadalaga ni Maximo Oliveros were the last two movies I saw last year.

Harry Potter

I still like the third film best. Despite being almost three hours long, the pacing of The Goblet of Fire was still too fast. I would’ve liked to see a few scenes of the Bulgarian-Irish quidditch match but all we got were the pretty introductions.

And I find it amusing that they deleted all references to Veela’s so that they don’t have to defend Ms. Clémence Poésy (i.e., Fleur Delacour) looks. She’s pretty and all but not as heart-stoppingly ravishing as you would’ve thought if she were a granddaughter of a Veela.

The scene with Voldemort rising again was a bit flat for me. Ralph Fiennes as Voldemort didn’t really exude the frightening aura one that is referred to as He Who Must Not Be Named. Well, I really wouldn’t know how to make him more frightening/evil on screen.

The film had good CG though; you really don’t notice the special effects that much and are instead drawn more to the story, which is one benchmark for good CG.

The cinematography was lacking though. It was the excellent cinematography and editing that made me like The Prisoner of Azkhaban the best.

Maximo Oliveros

This movie was considered the surprise indie digital-film hit of last year. It won a few awards in international film festivals and it was the latest of a string of digital films (like Ilusyon and Masahista) that won foreign acclaim.

The film was quite good. It’s not so much a light-hearted tale of a gay boy, but more about the maturing of Maximo. He painfully learns a few lessons of life outside his small world as a gay in the slums of Manila. The movie was not at all that serious, though. In fact, the audience were loudly guffawing over the beauty pageant scenes.

Nathan Lopez, who played Maxie, acted quite convincingly. He’s supposedly straight, but he portrayed Maximo really well. Soliman Cruz, the father, is another standout. The actors for the brothers and the policeman were not bad, though not particularly exemplary, given their material.

The story is the highlight of the movie however. It doesn’t delve into the issue of homosexuality at all but more into the internal struggle of young Maxie. On one hand is his family of crooks who is quite protective of him, while on the other is this idealistic and principled policeman who Maxie falls head over heels for. It’s the way he handles this struggle that is really the point of Maximo’s pagdadalaga.

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