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Sagwan (2009))(Uncut version)

(บรรยายอังกฤษ)

 

Directer:Monti Parungao  Producer:Rene Lopez ,George Roca

Writter:Arnold Mendoza, Monti Parungao  Story: Franklin Jundak Music:Arjieh Juwiao  Cinematography:Monti Parungao Editor:Gary Parungao  Running time:  Country:Philippines  Language:Filipino, Tagalog  Genre:Drama  Subtitle: English
Starring:
Ryan Dungo ... Alfred
Dennis Torres ... Eman
Martina Wilson ... Cecilia
Mark Portus ... Nato


ตัวหนัง พูดถึงเมืองชายทะเลที่เงียบสงบ ที่ซึ่งชาวเรือเลี้ยงชีพด้วยการพานักท่องเทียวลัดเลาะไปตามแม่น้ำ แต่เบื้องหลังภูมิประเทศที่สวยงามกลับซุกซ่อนความจริงที่อัปลักษณ์ไว้ด้วยการที่พวกเขามีอาชีพขายตัวกับนักท่องเที่ยวนั่นเอง เนื้อเรื่องดำเนินไปโดยกล่าวถึงความสัมพันธ์ระหว่างเพื่อน แฟนสาว โดยมีเรื่องเซ็กซ์และปัญหาทางการเงินเข้ามาเกี่ยวข้องกับวิถีชีวิตชาวเรือ

The movie, Sagwan is set in a quiet town called Tatalon where boatmen make a living ferrying tourists along its long winding river. Behind this scenic setting hides an ugly truth. Boatmen succumb to prostitution to make ends meet. Finding himself at the center of this harsh reality is the main character, Alfred played by newcomer, Ryan Dungo. Alfred prides himself as the only boatman who has not yet resorted to the sex-for-money arrangement his comrades have grown accustomed to. He is faced with pressure from all sides-from his friend Eman (Dennis Torres) who tries to convince him of the benefits of the "trade," his father whose gambling addiction requires financing and from his girlfriend, Cecilia (Martina Wilson) who longs for a more sexually gratifying relationship.



 

As the movie progresses, Alfred finds a way to give Cecilia what she wants and at the same time, come to terms with his confusing feelings for Eman. Even the dark specter that haunts his mind is finally laid to rest with a surprising revelation at the end of the movie.

THE VERDICT. Sagwan is definitely a well-made movie everyone should see. Kudos goes to the director, Monti Parungao, who can be considered a master of the scenic setting. He adds his unique touch by applying color manipulation to different scenes to evoke an edgy and modern feel to an otherwise bland provincial location. Viewers will notice a certain polish to the movie and Monti successfully transforms even the gritty and sometimes, dirty state of tourist spots to something charming and attractive. This feat should clearly become a standard in indie movies where panoramic spots like Tatalon are the usual setting for their stories. All in all, visuals are crisp and clear-giving viewers an impression that they are watching a movie with a decent budget.

Direk Monti also knows how to put up a good show for his audience. He knows who is watching and he aims to please. His close up shots of the actor''s physique left the audience satisfied and even craving for more. As an uncut version, viewers are also offered to a feast of frontal nudity scenes. But Monti is crafty enough to know that glimpses are more exciting than full frontal. And here, he succeeds once again.

In terms of acting, a certain allowance can be given to the actors for their neophyte acting skills. Ryan Dungo, despite being the lead, needs more workshops on delivering his lines and providing believable facial expressions. Surprisingly, Dennis Torres who plays Eman does a better job. His acting is more natural and his line delivery more convincing. His sex appeal is strong and can be felt by the audience. A welcome addition, as well, are the gay support characters in the movie. Because of them, the movie became lighter and more enjoyable to watch. What''s more, audiences can relate to them and identify with the various personalities projected onscreen.

As a moviegoer, I fervently wish that indie films forego the usual first person narration as Sagwan utilizes the same tired device. Also, the script and storyline is not particularly original. People who have seen the international independent film Ken Park would see clear similarities. But do not let these minor faults prevent you from watching the movie. Sagwan is a good watch and is a definite welcome after the series of disappointing gay indie films that have recently opened in the metro.
 


 


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