Friday, April 24, 2009
T2: Tenement 2 (Star Cinema, 2009)
The gene for good looks, the gene for wit and humor- I inherited from my pop. But not his knack for horror-suspense flicks. That’s why it wasn’t an automatic choice to watch with my sister Star Cinema’s newest offering T2: Tenement 2 on my first free Saturday after a grueling last few weeks. T2 narrowly beat Slumdog Millionaire to be our movie of the day, thanks to the sudden rush of nationalism and our mutual love for T2’s lead actor, Maricel Soriano.
Overall, T2 for me represents one of the rare Filipino films that have been well thought of. Here are my reasons why. (Some T2 spoilers follow in this review.)
The movie gives a modern spin on Philippine folklore, wrapped around and woven into the world of elemental beings- the encantos. There are minimal special effects, minimal gore: the plot unravels beautifully, paced well enough for my imagination to conjure a scene, only to be blindsided a better visual onscreen.
The scenes were executed by a tight cast of about ten who developed their characters skillfully. Clare and Angeli and their compatriots exuded enough melancholy, enough smugness, enough ethereal aura to make them believable but still maintain that level of being surreal.
What made up for the absence of gore and characters was the interesting use of visuals and sceneries, T2 being partly a road film. It was a good call to juxtapose the showcasing of a huge chunk of the Philippines on screen (to set the general mood of the film) with an even more grandiose but synthetic parallel world of encantos (which existed through a tiny portal in a nondescript plaza of a rundown housing project).
T2 is a travelogue through the Philippine countryside, remarkable not just because of discovered roadside wonders but because it is an unwitting journey into coming to terms with one’s past, key to having a better, smoother drive ahead.