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hermitotalks · a year ago
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ANG NAGING MARKA NG “BIYAYA NG LUPA” NI MANUEL SILOS SA PELIKULANG PILIPINO
sinulat ni Josh Tan
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Hindi na bago sa paningin ng mga Pilipino ang makakita ng mga pelikulang tungkol sa pamilya at pag-ibig, at higit sa lahat, kung paano ito umiikot sa pamumuhay ng mga tao. Mga pelikulang “Tanging Yaman”, “Dekada ‘70″, at “Anak” ay iilan lamang sa mga pelikulang hanggang ngayon ay pinag-uusapan pa rin ng madla. Gaya ng mga klasikong pelikula na nabanggit, ang “Biyaya ng Lupa” (“Blessings of the Land”) ni Manuel Silos ay nagtataglay din ng kasiningan na tila hindi maikukumpara sa mga pelikulang mapapanood ngayon. Bagama’t anim na dekada na ang nakalipas mula ito ay unang inihain sa mga tao, may mga pamamaraan na ginamit si Silos na naging malaking impluwensya sa mga bagong direktor - isang patunay na ang kanyang iniwan na marka sa industriya ay hindi na mabubura.
Ang “Biyaya ng Lupa” ay ipinalabas noong 1959 sa direksyon ni Manuel Silos at isinulat ni Celso Al. Carunungan at Pablo Naval. Ito ay pinagbidahan ni Rosa Rosal at Tony Santos, dalawa sa mga aktor na napangaralan ng Gawad Urian noon, at nanalo bilang pinakamahusay na pelikula at istorya sa FAMAS kabilang ang ilan pang mga nominasyon. Ang kwento ng pelikula ay umiikot sa pamilya ng mag-asawang si Maria (Rosa Rosal) at Jose (Tony Santos) na namumuhay sa isang maliit na probinsya kasama ang kanilang mga anak na sina Miguel (Leroy Salvador), Arturo (Carlos Padilla Jr.), Angelita (Marita Zobel), at Lito (Danilo Jurado). Masaya at maginhawa ang pagsasama ng pamilya hanggang sila ay magina parte ng isang gulo na magbabago ng kanilang paningin sa buhay, pag-ibig, at pananampalataya.
Ang pelikula ay tumanggap ng iba’t ibang parangal at narito ang mga dahilan kung bakit:
ISTORYANG PINAG-ISIPAN, BIYAYA SA SAMBAYANAN
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Isa sa mga panlaban ng pelikula ay ang kalakasan ng nailahad na kwento. Kung titignan ang buong konsepto ng istorya, ito ay nakasentro sa pamilya at pagmamahal. Gayunman, nararapat din bigyan ng pansin kung paano nagawa ni Silos, Carunungan, at Naval ilahad ang dalawang ideya sa magaan at mabigat na paraan habang ipinapakita ang kagandahan at kalungkutan ng tunay na buhay. Sa simula, puno ng ngiti at kasiyahan ang timpla ng kwento ngunit lahat ng ito ay napalitan ng luha at pait bandang dulo sa maayos na paraan. Hindi naging pilit ang pagsasanaysay at lahat ng pangyayari ay nagkaroon ng kaugnayan sa mensahe ng pelikula.
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Maganda rin ang nais sabihin ng pelikula patungo sa pamilya at kayamanan. Ang bawat miyembro ng kanilang tahanan ay may kanya-kanyang katangian at paniniwala na naging dahilan kung paano nila natanto ang kahalagahan ng pamilya kaysa sa pera. Ito ay nagbibigay ng magandang aral hindi lang sa pamilyang Pilipino noon ngunit pati na rin sa kalagayan ng bansa ngayon. Ang tanging naging kakulangan lamang siguro para sa akin ay ang pagpapakita ng kanilang pighati matapos ang nangyari kay Jose. Ito ay mas nakadagdag sana paglalarawan ng kahinaan at kalakasan ng kanilang pamilya na naging batayan ng mga pagbabago sa kanilang prinsipyo.
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Nabigyan din ng halaga ang pananampalataya at kung paano ito pinanghawakan ng kanilang pamilya matapos ang lahat ng trahedya na dumating sa buhay nila. Sa simula pa lamang ay naipakita na agad na relihiyoso si Jose at Maria at ito ay kanilang naipasa sa kanilang mga anak lalo na kay Miguel. Ang kaugnayan ng pagiging banal sa karakter ni Miguel ay naging magandang pamamaraan upang ipakita kung paano nabuo ang kanyang mga paniniwala bilang isang panganay na anak na mayroong kapansanan. Hindi lang ito nagpapatunay ng kanyang pagmamahal para sa sariling pamilya ngunit ito rin ay nagpapakita ng kanyang mga kakayahan sa kabila ng pamamaliit ng mga tao sa kanya.
PURONG PINOY ANG TONO, BIYAYA SA MADLANG PILIPINO
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Nakakatuwa makanood ng isang pelikula na ang pagbigkas ng bawat salita ng mga aktor ay purong Piilipino. Maririnig sa tono ng kanilang mga boses ang makalumang pananalita ng wikang Filipino na hindi pa naiimpluwnesiyahan ng makabagong panahon. Hindi lang sa diksyon makikita ang pagiging Pilipino ng pelikula sapagkat naipakita rin nito ang iba’t ibang kultura sa Pilipinas na hindi na masyado natatanaw ngayon. Kabilang dito ang pagmamano sa nakakatanda, pag-gamit ng “po” at “opo”, pagdadasal bago kumain, at ang pagpapahalaga ng sariling tahanan. 
MGA ANGGULONG MALIKHAIN, BIYAYA SA PANINGIN
Maraming anggulo ang ginamit sa pelikula na nagkaroon ng malalim na kahulugan sa kwento. Sa aking palagay, importante na hindi lamang mga linya ang naglalahad ng istorya dahil bawat aspeto, kabilang ang galaw ng kamera, ay bahagi ng buong pananamit ng pelikula. Ilan sa mga anggulong aking hinangaan ay ang mga sumusunod: 
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Ang pag-gamit ng tinanim na puno sa pagpapakita ng pagbuo ng pamilya ni Jose at Maria matapos ang kasal.
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Ang pagpapakita ng pagsugod ng mga tao sa tahanan ni Bruno (Joseph de Cordova) sa pamamagitan ng Kuleshov Effect na hanggang ngayon ay ginagamit pa rin sa industriya.
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Ang posisyon ng larawan sa likod ni Miguel bilang simbolismo ng kanyang pananampalataya sa kabila ng mga trahedya na nangyari sa buhay nila.
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Ang paggamit ng mga itinanim na halaman bilang pagpapakita ng pagbabago ng oras sa buhay ng pamilya.
Sa kabuuan, ang pelikula ni Manuel Silos na “Biyaya ng Lupa” ay nagtataglay ng mga katangian na hanggang ngayon ay makabuluhan para sa mga gumagawa ng pelikula. Sa pamamagitan ng mensahe nito, nabibigyang-diin ang halaga ng pamilya at pag-ibig. Dahil sa tono nito, napapaalala sa lokal na madla ang pagiging Pilipino. Bunga ng mga malilikhaing anggulo nito, nagkakaroon ng inspirasyon ang makabagong henerasyon. At dahil sa pelikulang ito, mayroong nagpapatunay na ang pelikulang Pilipino ay makabuluhan noon at gayundin ngayon.
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hermitotalks · a year ago
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ERIK MATTI’S ACTION-THRILLER FILM “ON THE JOB” IS A GAME CHANGER IN THE LOCAL FILM INDUSTRY AND HERE’S WHY
written by Josh Tan
For more than decades now, box office revenues can prove that the local audience has been supporting rom-com and drama films more compared to action and thriller films. Nonetheless, there are still numerous Filipino directors who continuously give the genre a light in the industry and one great example is Erik Matti.
From “BuyBust” to “Honor Thy Father”, it can be considered that the role of Matti in the local film industry shows a massive relevance on how the country can relay a story to the world that truly signifies the hardships and oppressions experienced in the Philippines without overshadowing the voices of every Filipino citizen with a story to tell.
Personally, I have only watched a few of his works such as “Seklusyon”, “BuyBust”, The Aswang Chronicles Film Series, “Honor Thy Father”, and “On The Job”. All these films can strongly show Matti’s passion and creativity but the one that stood out for me is his 2013 film “On The Job”. As a viewer and a fan of authentic films, I can say that this is his best work yet and prestigious award-giving bodies such as FAMAS and Gawad Urian can agree to this.
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The film stars Piolo Pascual, Gerald Anderson, Joey Marquez, and Joel Torre, with supporting characters played by Angel Aquino and Michael de Mesa. It centers on two prisoners, Mario Maghari (Joel Torre) and Daniel (Gerald Anderson), who are being hired to secretly go in and out of prison for missions involving contract killings in exchange for a great amount of money. After a chain of events, this catches the attention of cop Sergeant Joaquin Acosta (Joey Marquez) and NBI agent Francis Coronel Jr. (Piolo Pascual), which later on progresses to a major scandal that will change their lives forever.
With the direction and screenplay by Erik Matti, additional writing by Michiko Yamamoto, musical scoring by Erwin Romulo, editing by Jay Halili, and cinematography by Francis Ricardo Buhay III, the huge ensemble gained numerous recognitions (Best Sound, Best Actor - Joel Torre) and nominations from Gawad Urian (Best Picture, Best Director, Best Screenplay, etc.), with a few more trophies from FAMAS (Best Picture, Best Director, Best Screenplay, Best Editing, Best Story, and Best Sound).
As cliche as it sounds, “On The Job” is deserving of all these appreciation and here are the reasons why.
THE STORY HAD ONE JOB AND IT DELIVERED PERFECTLY!
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One primary asset of the film’s narrative is its transparency and consistency in displaying the purpose and standpoint of every character as the story unfolded from one scene to another. It has an alluring way of showing how violence is depicted in reality and the role of these two concepts in a Philippine setting. The dividing line between those who are powerful and those who are powerless in the society can also be witnessed by the demonstration of how people in higher positions can get away with anything while those who are under them are left with no choice but to become desperate for survival. In a political aspect, Matti carefully showcased the dark side of the authority and the mentality of debt between families that leads to the continuous reinforcement of an already corrupt system. The technique used in its storytelling allows the audience to be part of a walkthrough inside a reality that has always been hidden from the public.
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The parallelism between the “mentor-student” bond of Mario and Daniel to the “father-son” relationship of Francis and Cong. Manrique (Michael de Mesa) also shows how far can one go to fight for what is right while the other settles for what is wrong. It is a great representation of how the choices given to us are merely limited to and based on our privileges. Every twists and turns behind these characters, especially those with lives are at stake, explain why the film is not really about the lead protagonist and antagonist and it is all primarily about the job.
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TORRE AND AQUINO CERTAINLY KNOW THEIR JOB
The film is jam-packed with award-winning actors who have already proven their skills in acting. From a Filipino A-lister, Piolo Pascual, giving the audience enough amount of intensity to a rom-com star, Gerald Anderson, accepting a role far from his comfort zone, there is no words to describe how well-made the casting was for this film. With an ensemble like this, it is sometimes hard to compare the portrayal of one actor to another. However, with the moving performances from Joel Torre and Angel Aquino, it wasn’t really hard for me at all.
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Joel Torre is mostly seen in films only as a father of the lead protagonist or someone in a supporting role with not much of an exposure. Truth be told, he is an underrated actor despite of his undeniable talent and his performance in “On The Job” is an evidence. He was able to portray Mario with so much depth and he did not need to shed a tear for that. Another skill that Torre has and is mostly unnoticeable in most lead stars is conviction. He knows the right tone to deliver a line and the right emotion to express the character’s thoughts. This explains why his performance in the Erik Matti action film gave him his third Gawad Urian acting award following his performances in “Bayaning 3rd World” and “Batang West Side”.
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Although slept on by the award-giving bodies, Angel Aquino, who plays the role of Lulette, also shined the brightest in the film. With her limited time exposure as the wife of Mario (Torre), Aquino was able to introduce a way to deliver both light and heavy emotions depending on the scene. No wonder, she is one of the most versatile actresses in the industry because she can do any genre and still make the audience ask for more. In a particular scene towards the end of the film, one can see how she was able to carry all the emotions inside her character from start to end with just a very short (yet intense) dialogue.
THE JOB OF MUSIC
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For action films, one important factor is how the music balances with scenes involving stunts and fast-paced movements. Well, with Erwin Romulo, also the scorer of “BuyBust”, he definitely knows how to build up the emotions of the audience without outweighing the sequences so the attention is still focused on the plot. One particular scene that proves this is the part wherein Francis and Acosta were chasing after Daniel and Mario in the dark streets of Manila on a rainy night. The tension between the characters as the camera moved from one angle to another was even more emphasized through the fast-beating sound heard in the background with short pauses where only the gasping breath of the actors are heard. In short, Romulo was also able to tell a story through the film’s sound editing which added more to the beauty of its narrative.
Erik Matti’s work in “On The Job” is a proof that a film does not need to be a highest grossing motion picture for it to leave a mark. When it is done with honesty and a sincere purpose, it can be one of the most critically-acclaimed films of all time. With the amount of passion that Matti shows in the film industry, he should be recognized not just as a director, but also a storyteller. A legend that is a game changer - one who always makes an impact.
Can’t wait for On The Job 2!
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