2017 · Pinoy Indie

Ang Larawan




Based on the 1997 stage play, Ang Larawan the Musical which in turn was based on “A Portrait of the Artist as Filipino” by National Artist, Nick Joaquin. The film was set in 1941 just before the World War II in a mansion located in Manila. This movie is directed by Loy Arcenas under Culturtrain Productions Inc.

Casts: Paulo Avelino, Rachel Alejandro, Joanna Ampil, Sandino Martin, Cris Villonco, Aicelle Santos, Nonie Buencamino, Robert Arevalo, Celeste Legazpi, Zsa Zsa Padilla, Ogie Alcasid, Rayver Cruz, Jojit Lorenzo, Dulce, Bernardo Bernardo, Jaime Fabregas

Genre: Musical


Finally, a full-length and old-fashioned Pinoy Musical Masterpiece that successfully executed its Musical Scenes and at the same time depicted a nostalgic feeling of Philippine History and Literature… Ang Larawan is truly worthy to be the 2017 Metro Manila Film Festival Best Picture that offers appreciation of our very own treasures. The movie will take you to Old Manila specifically in Intramuros set before the World War II. I must say that being a Period Movie, Ang Larawan exceeded expectations in terms of execution. From houses, walls, costumes and even down to the choices of words, I really can see the careful and extensive research done to achieve a perfect depiction of a film set in 1941 in the Philippines. I really like how Arcenas utilized different techniques especially on musical scenes. He effectively played around the same corner of the house in majority of the scenes but set a perfect and unique mood in each sequences that will make a feeling that it was shot somewhere else. Arcenas is faithful with the material and loves to keep intact with a certain scene while highlighting the emotions of the characters. This technique truly captivated me with every frame and it almost feel like I can see raw emotions from each of the characters. Ang Larawan’s success is of course attributed with the Musical production that composed of nearly 95% of the film’s running time. I am just amazed with Ryan Cayabyab’s composition as well as the interpretation of the characters. Joanna Ampil is truly impressive and deserving of the Best Actress Award as well. She got my attention most of the time. She was just brilliant and emotionally-engaging. Rachel Alejandro was a good support too. I really love majority of their duets as well. Paulo Avelino was also perfect with his role as Tony Javier. He may not sing as good as everyone else but he was convincing in his portrayal as a desperate and shady small-time pianist in the film. Aside from the amazing lead characters, the film is well-supported with other amazing performances of well-known celebrities and gem of Philippine showbiz. Their musical collaboration is some scenes are such a joy to watch on the big screen. If you are in to quality films and you love Philippine History and Literature, Ang Larawan might be one of your favorite films so far.


Given that its a full-length Musical Film, expect that majority of conversations will be sang of course. Not-so-fan of the genres may find the movie boring given the formula. Also, to manage everyone’s expectations, Ang Larawan is more of a direct translation of a masterpiece which means that you should not be expecting grand musical numbers rather a series of conversations sang beautifully and with emotions. It won’t be everyone’s cup of tea especially as compared with other MMFF 2017 Entries but Ang Larawan is truly a gem of Philippine cinema.


10/10 Popcorns.

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