Monday, August 15, 2011

Movie Bullets: "Ang Babae sa Septic Tank"


I just watched "Ang Babae sa Septic Tank" at Waltermart-Makati and after we got out of the cinema I have this certain urge to write my thoughts about it, immediately.... So here it is...

The movie started as Direk Rainier (Kean Cipriano) is narrating sequences number 34 to 40 from his latest indie film "Walang-wala."
Correct me if I'm wrong, but here are sequences 34 to 40 in numerical order (may ganun ba?)...

Sequence 34 opens up in a slum area. I think that the highlight of this sequence is the girl who is doing her number 2 on an open ground. wehehehehe
In Sequence 35 the camera follows a young boy holding a pack of instant noodles as he walks to a maze-like, narrow and filthy alley.
Sequence 36 is located at Mila's house (Mila is the Heroine of the Indie Film "Walang-wala."). The boy who is holding the noodles at sequence 35 is in fact one of  Mila's seven children. Mila cooked the noodles and served it to her children.
Sequence 37 is the part where Mila is giving one of her daughter a bath just outside her house.
On Sequence 38 Mila is dressing her newly-bathed (word ba to?) daughter inside her house while her other children were looking at her.
Sequence 39 is back on the alley of the slums where Mila and her daughter were walking (more like hiking...). At the latter part of this sequence Mila and her daughter entered a condominium building.
Sequence 40 opens just outside Mr. Smithberger's condominium unit. Mila handed her daughter to Mr. Smithberger (a white Caucasian) and then left. She then went out the fire escape and sat on one end of the stairs. <fade to black>

Sequences 34 to 40 I think is basically the focal point of the entire film. It was repeated several times with different attacks to it. Noticeably, it was Jocelyn (Cai Cortez) who is imagining-slash-visioning these sequences (asleep or not) when someone implies a slightly different atmosphere to the sequences.

I would try to differentiate (in my own words)  how sequences 34 to 40 were portrayed repeatedly in the movie.

The first one was the "Indie-feel"... Eugene Domingo is the one who is  playing Mila. Camera shots are shaky and on a single angle only. Not much on dialogues and make ups. Lightings are gloomy

The second was the Argument between Direk Rainier and Producer Bingbong (JM de Guzman). At this juncture, they were debating on who could play the character of Mila better (whether they would stick to Eugene Domingo or go with Mercedes Cabral or Cherry Pie Picache). Also, this is the part where they decided that the child Mila will sell to the Caucasian paedophile would be a boy and not a girl.

Third, they considered making it as a Documentary... meaning they will be following a real-life Mila. This will have no script and no acting directions.

Then they went Musicale... This is more lyric-al and choreographic-al. With dialogue-songs and dance steps, this might be the most entertaining attack on the sequences.

And the last one is the "Commercial Attack."  On this vision, camera angles are more on the cinematic side.  Over the top and well-thought of  dialogues are exhausted here. Well placed-out wardrobe and make ups are also present. And, who could miss the almost not-subtle commercial advertisement of sponsors.

Can you imagine how they did that...??? And to think that everything was very well-presented for both critical and non-critical viewers to enjoy.

But for me, the best part of the movie is still Ms. Eugene Domingo and her three ways of acting according to her book. (book talaga..)

1. The Elevator Acting
2. TV Patrol Acting
3. and As is, Where is Acting

This is the part of the film where I laughed the loudest... and made the film worth every cent I spent.
I won't elaborate much on how Ms. Eugene Domingo acted her different acting approaches. You should watch the movie yourself and laugh your heart out as well. <wink>

And why the title "Ang Babae sa Septic Tank?"... it is also for you to find out...

I have a trailer below just to tickle you minds and pockets...

To close... I would give this film a quarter of a bullet.
Remember, the fewer the bullets the more I like it.

Bye-bye...inday badiday!


  1. sana mapanood ko rin ito. wala bang international release?

  2. parang walang int'l release... hintayin mo n lng sa isohunt...wahahhahah

  3. tama... tsakto gd ang g nhambal nila sa movie... pang oscars sila...