Metro Manila Film review by Malcolm of

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Metro Manila Film review by Malcolm of

Just came back from watching Metro Manila in the Curzon cinema in Soho, I watched the first screening at 4pm today (Friday 20th September) this was also first screening of the general release in London.

The cinema seemed quite busy and the audience was made up of people from all nationalities and across a wide age range. The publicity both in newspapers as well as at various tube stations certainly helped, the reviews in the various London newspapers were all very positive, giving the film between 3 to 5 stars out of 5, depending on which publication you read.

I would start by saying that I have visited the Philippines many times as I have fallen in love with the country and people. I also run a Filipino Events website and am passionate about Filipino culture. It would therefore be difficult some would argue to write a bad review about any film or production connected with the country, so some may feel that my review could be biased, but I believe that I must be honest about my experience and feeling whilst watching the film today.

Metro Manila is an indie film directed by a British upcoming director, Sean Ellis, staring Jake Macapagal who plays Oscar Ramirez in my opinion, quite brilliantly.

Before watching the film, I had watched some interviews where Sean had said that he has never been to a country where everybody had been so helpful and always said yes to his requests. He explained that whenever he asks for things as a film-maker the answer is normally no, but in the Philippines he was greeted with a warm response.

Metro Manila grabbed my attention from the start, I love the Philippines for many reasons, one of which is the incredible scenery and beauty spots across the country as well as the excitement and vibrancy of the capital city, Manila. These were all captured perfectly, with an exciting soundtrack combined with powerful images.

Yes the issues which the population face through poverty were addressed by the film, but these were done in a very real and credible way. It is so easy for people to just focus on the negatives in the country, however I believe the film progressed in a real, dramatic and exciting way without too many long camera shots of poverty or making any political statements. This in my opinion was very clever film making indeed and is another reason of many, why I believe this is a must see movie for every Filipino, it shows the issues which many face in a credible way.

There were some very dramatic twists and turns which made this a very exciting, but also a very sad and hard hitting movie to watch.

The film was cast perfectly with leading actor Jake Macapagal as a farmer from the provinces who travels to Manila in search of work and a better life for his family.

His family are forced to make difficult choices and are faced with some dilemmas which I am sure, very sadly are faced in real life by some people living in the country.

The action was very well staged and looked very real, I have watched many Filipino movies and I must be honest and say this was probably among the very best film I have ever seen to come out of the country and as I said is a MUST watch, whatever it takes, go see Metro Manila, you won't regret it.

I have posted the movie trailer, thanks to YouTube and the movie producers, hope they don't mind:

Here is a list of where the movie is showing from today, Friday 20th September:

Curzon Soho, London

Hackney Picturehouse, London

Ritzy Picturehouse, London

VUE Shepherd's Bush, London

VUE Islington, London

Showroom, Sheffield

Cornerhouse, Manchester

Tyneside, Newcastle

From 27 September...

Light House, Dublin
From 4 October...

QUAD, Derby

From 11 October...

Bradford National Media Museum, Bradford

Ipswich Film Theatre, Ipswich

The Rex, Berkhamsted

From 18 October...

Riverside Studios, London

Institut Francais, London
From 25 October...

Gulbenkian, Canterbury


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