Kasal is a story about Lia who began questioning her decision to marry an eligible bachelor in Cebu and a Mayoral candidate, Philip, after her ex-boyfriend Wado came back into her life. This movie is directed by Ruel Bayani under Star Cinema.

Casts: Bea Alonzo, Derek Ramsay, Paulo Avelino, Christopher de Leon, Cherie Gil, Vin Abrenica, Kylie Verzosa, Cai Cortez & Victor Silayan.

Genre: Drama, Romance


“KASAL” started off on a clean slate exploring the idea of two lovely couples deciding to get married. What is interesting about the plot development is the involvement of Politics in the story that somehow made it dynamic in terms of execution. The plot begins to thicken when Wado came into the picture. From thereon, the story begins to unfold along with its intriguing and controversial hints. Don’t worry – I won’t spoil it here. Kasal is definitely a Star Cinema masterpiece given the fact the Cinematography and sound design is impressive. Moreover, majority of the scenes were shot in Cebu City and a little bit 10% of the characters’ dialogues are in the local tongue. This approach made a little impact to me being a proud “Bisaya”. I loved that they have utilized major tourist spots and economic hubs in Cebu for majority of their scenes. Plot-wise, the build towards the turnaround and climax was spot on. I loved how the first half of the scenes didn’t give any hints before the twist was revealed. What I like about KASAL is the issues being tackled not only about Politics but more of about love, acceptance and respect. Dialogues are heartfelt and are very emotionally-engaging. The movie gave us a new perspective of the kind of love we truly deserve. Not spoiling the twist though – the movie became sensitive to some of the sensible issues nowadays. Acting-wise, I must say that it is worth every cent of your cinema ticket. Bea Alonzo is so beautiful and very sexy in the film. She is just a glowing ray of sunshine on screen not mentioning her ever impressive and award-winning performance. Paulo Avelino was also at his best in the film. Given the demand of his role, his acting was so raw and captivating. Derek Ramsay was also a good lead in the movie. With the presence of some veteran actors such as Christopher de Leon and Cherie Gil, Kasal has already exceeded my expectations in the first place. Kasal is good for mature audiences as it gives an eye-opener about love and respect.


Some of the Bisaya words in the dialogues are not appropriate but I am glad that they shot this in Cebu City.


9/10 Popcorn.

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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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