Movie Review: Tuhog

Taking a risk on an edgy themed movie, Skylight Films and Star Cinema, proudly released TUHOG in theaters nationwide last July 17, 2013 and currently on it's second week in cinemas. Helmed and conceptualized by the amazing duo, director Veronica "Roni" Velasco, and screenplay writer Ms. Jinky Laurel, the mysterious, interesting and intriguing film themed as "black comedy" or "dramedy" is something new and fresh, stepping out of the movie comfort zone of  the usual movie themes "romance-comedy-drama-horror-action". Now, as a week passed on it's cinema play, many people have seen it already and got impressed. I had to admit, even though I know how proud are the makers of the film to have finished and released the movie, I am also equally proud that I have seen such a great movie. Now, I will share my own movie review for the film, TUHOG.
Tuhog
Starring Leo Martinez, Eugene Domingo and Enchong Dee
also with Jake Cuenca, Empress, Manuel Chua, Nikki Valdez, Rodjun Cruz, Joe Vargas,  Maliksi Morales, Beauty Gonzales, Ariel Ureta, Noel Trinidad, Kitkat, Eda Nolan, Carla Martinez, Bodjie Pascua, Menggie Cobarrubias, Jon Achaval, Nor Domingo, Hyubs Azarcon, Nico Antonio, Allyzon Lualhati, Nicco Manalo, and Ms. Dimples Romana
Directed by Veronica Velasco
From Skylight Films, distributed by Star Cinema
**Watch the full trailer here:
Movie Synopsis
Tuhog is a story of a tragic bus accident that involves three different people, living 3 different lives, facing 3 different life struggles. While the bus is moving along Commonwealth Ave., a kid suddenly crossed the street, causing a shocking vehicular accident. Three passengers, Tonio, Caloy and Fiesta was impaled with a metal pole. As tragic as it sounds, it is a near-death incident for each of them. Sino ang dapat mabuhay? - an argument initiated by the film... if you will play as God, who's your choice?
Tonio
Tonio (Leo Martinez) is an old man, a father and a husband. He is already retired from the job he has been doing all his life. He felt like he is not valued by his own family. Tonio has a set of good friends and they always bond by playing card games. Tonio is unhappy with his life.  He has a dream, since he was young he have always wanted to bake. He took the risk of investing all of his retirement pay over to putting up his own bakery. He was supported by his friends but his own family is unconvinced and skeptical about his decision, pointing out that Tonio does not have any experience in baking and business. If ever you will have the chance to live your dream, will you risk everything for it? Is it ever too late to take the step in reaching your desires and aspirations in life?
Fiesta
Fiesta Dacanay (Eugene Domingo) is a martyr. A woman who is alive but is not living a life. Fiesta has always been tough, empowered, intimidating and unnerving to everyone around her. She works as a fare fee collector in a bus, there she meets a newbie bus driver Renato "Nato" Timbancaya (Jake Cuenca), who seems to be the first person who tried to reach out to her. Fiesta's mom left her and her father since she was five. It is the reason why she has been dull and cold. She kept a deep grudge against her mother. On the other hand, she has been struggling to take care of her own father who has been an alcoholic. Nato showed care and affection towards Fiesta. Is Fiesta ready to open-up her heart to Nato? If you ever have a chance to live life the way you want, will you grab it? Will Fiesta learn to breakaway from the dark shackles of her past and move on?
Caloy
Caloy Sicat (Enchong Dee) is one of this generation's aggressive youth. A young man who is pressured to get his "first-time" with the one he love. Caloy is in a long distance relationship with Angel (Empress), nearing their anniversary. Since they are far apart, they communicate through Skype. Caloy is one of the naughty and lascivious youth.  He has been waiting for the perfect moment to get in bed with Angel, because as believed, they both reserved their virginity for each other. He is pushed by friends to lose his virginity, more so, pushing him to get laid with someone else. Caloy tried really hard to resist his sexual urge, however, things got unfavorable on his side when he discovered that Angel is no longer a virgin. He felt fooled and betrayed.  If you had a chance of love, will you do everything to keep it from shattering? If you are hurt by the one you love, do you choose to take revenge or to give forgiveness?
The PROs:
•The movie's story timeline is impressive, it is not the usual smooth flowing story. It is jumping and skipping to the past and present, and they left the stitching of events to all the movie viewers. It will make you think, while being entertained.
•The graphics was an A+! It was noticeable ever since the opening credits. I bow down to all the graphic artists of the film. The music scoring is also fascinating!
•The entire movie is natural. It is not acting for the sake of acting, it is the art of acting to reflect reality.
•Even though some are saying that this film's concept was taken from an episode of Grey's Anatomy, I still think that the story is still the heart of the film, and that is what we can't compare. The story speaks directly to the heart. So, scratch the concept off, the three phases of the character's dark and unfortunate stories was still executed in a fine and remarkable way.
•Direk Roni has an eye on detail, I admire the shots and delivery of the scenes. Truly a work of love, I know how this film was created in extremely hard work, just to give one quality film that Filipinos can enjoy.
•Kudos to direk Roni and Ms. Jinky for the screenplay. The script and the story was served in utmost sincerity which transcends in the entire film.
•The casts, all of them, did a great job, this film was filled with the best character actors of the Philippines. A great ensemble of actors and actresses who shared talents equally to hand-out quality to the movie.
•The touch of scientific/medical field on the film made it more interesting. I love how they visually represented the impalement process in the hospital and how the doctors have their theory/formula in calculating on who will survive or die.
•Leo Martinez has added another great film on his record. Sir Leo is really one of the foundation of Philippine comedy. He is effortlessly funny, but at the same time he's story as Tonio is also touching. He reminded me of my lolo, he made me teary-eyed.
•I have always been a fan of THE Eugene Domingo. I know that a lot of us are. Her portrayal as Fiesta just showcased how she is one of the most versatile, gifted and skilled actress of our country. From being strict, authoritative, serious, and empowered to the caring, soft-hearted, and fragile Fiesta. Ms.Uge indeed is one of the luckiest being paired with (hottie) Jake Cuenca, who is also a great actor in his own rights. Jake and Ms. Uge surprisingly gave out the touch of kilig to the movie.
•I have to congratulate Enchong Dee for brushing off his mabait and boy-next-door image and giving out a generous share of his authentic and tested talent in acting for the film. Enchong as Caloy is the definition of the MTRCB rating of R-13 towards the film. Haha! Nevertheless, in my own honest opinion, Enchong Dee equally added to the film's comedy, in an organic and unrefined way. He has grown as an actor, no trace of pa-cute or pakilig in his stint on this film. Enchong and Empress displayed a positive chemistry. He is more of genuine in acting in a very impressive way. I never doubted him, after all, he is the only Pinoy actor besides John Lloyd Cruz who can make me cry in his dramatic scenes, especially in the movies I Do and Sa'yo Lamang. Seeing Enchong in this film made me proud of how far he have reached and more excited on how farther he can soar.. I also salute Empress for successfully playing a medyo bitchy and slutty role. :)
The CONs
•Of course, no film is perfect, I really don't consider this much of a con, but I noticed that when the 3 characters impaled were separated I noticed that the supposed to be metal pole is colored blue, which made me laugh. Anyways, it was just a minor detail.
•I was just a bit "bitin". I do agree that the movie was ended in a justified way, however, I just somehow craved for more.
•I got curious about Angel and Nato. Angel was supposed to be riding the other bus which was also present in the accident, but she did not show up in the hospital scene for Caloy. And Nato as the bus driver, what happened to him right after the accident? I am hoping that he got punished by our rightful law, since the film reflects the ugly truth of death due to vehicular accidents. :( I think it is something that moviegoers should ponder on after seeing the film.
•After watching the movie, I think the creepy tambol sound haunts me. Hahaha!
General Comments:
After all that has been said in this blog, I still wanted to point out that in my deepest and most honest opinion, TUHOG is still the BEST FILM I have seen so far this 2013. And for that I have to applaud the entire team behind the film, two years in the making was totally NOT a waste, it was definitely worth it, as this film has established a mark in everyone who have seen it. The movie have exceeded my own expectations, and with that, I would like to sincerely congratulate each and everyone who made this film possible, because I believe that films like this is just what our local movie industry needs. The film made me realize a lot about life in general. I am sure it touched the lives of everyone who has already seen it. People can definitely pick up a lesson or two off from the movie. A rare mind-opener, heart-warmer, and reality-checker film. How ready are you to face death? How ready are you to face your Creator?
This movie is highly-recommended, it has been too obvious that I really do give out my unconditional support to films that I do believe in, and Tuhog is one of them, for sure. Again, Tuhog is still showing in theaters now on its second week. Please do not miss the chance to watch one pinoy-made game-changer film.

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RIYACTION: re·ac·tion [noun] an action performed or a feeling experienced in response to a situation or event.

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