Two-Lights-Relumino-Blog

Review: ‘Two Lights: Relúmĭno’

Not a second bit was wasted on mere motion. As a short film, it made sure every bitrate carried a certain emotion, or sometimes a combination of two. For a story about people with impaired vision, the characters’ eyes spoke so much of words only the soul could read and understand.

Watching the story unfold made me feel In Soo’s adjustment to his gradual loss of sight. I felt his quiet strength in keeping on, not letting his ordeal get in the way of life. It wasn’t in 3D but I felt how he almost slipped into despair, letting the physical darkness envelope his heart. I felt how Sooyoung’s bright heart became the hand that lead Insoo back to a brighter path.

It’s heart-warming that the movie gently reminded physically-abled people how to truly help those with disabilities. Without saying it outright, the director made the viewers see the importance of giving a sense of independence to those whose lives suddenly took a turn because of an illness or impairment. True, they got sick but the person can still do a whole lot on his/her own. It’s important we don’t take that away from them, too.

As expected, Han Ji Min and Park Hyung Sik had chemistry that made my heart flutter. I am glad that the story ended on a happy note, albeit openly. It feels as though a part two could hurt my heart, not that I’m not eager to see a follow-up story.

But for this short little and inspiring ad, I’d say the story was perfect for feeeling all warm and fuzzy, falling in love with Insoo and Sooyoung as they will their hearts to see beyond the blurry, gloomy, dark parts of life. It’s a refreshing spray of hope that even when you’re not looking, or even when you cannot look to see, love will find those it’s meant to find. When it does, I hope we all be as confident and trusting as the two.

Note: Images and stills are from the movie produced by Samsung. You may watch it on Youtube or VLive.

**This post first appeared on my now archived site, Kaleidoscope Wonders, in December 2017.

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A note on the action scenes in ‘BuyBust’

There are movies made to entertain, made to make the viewers swoon, made to inspire, made to talk about the past, made to display a few people’s fantasies about the future. Then there’s BuyBust, a movie made like a mirror to show us how much mess we are in these days. 

BuyBust is now on Netflix and you should see it more than once. Schools and communities should encourage the youth to think the movie through. It’s an action film which centered on Nina Manigan (Anne Curtis), a police officer who survives a night of BuyBust that was rigged before it even began. 

Screen-grabbed from Netflix PH

I give five stars to film director Erik Matti and his team for an excellent commentary on the Duterte administration’s fake war on drugs. The film showed how complicated the drug mess is in this country and that waging war on it isn’t the one size, fits all solution.

It didn’t demonize one side of the coin and hailed the other. But it showed that in all these, the poor and the powerless and the ordinary citizens (like Nina Manigan and even that Hudas of a police officer waiting outside the slum area) get caught in between. And the rich? The powerful? Oh, they went on with their extravagant lives. Biggie Chen explained it best.

I’ve seen reviews about the action scenes in BuyBust and how it lacks a lot compared to its counterparts. I think it is brilliant that most of the action sequences looked a bit animated. Anne Curtis, Brandon Vera and the rest of the cast mostly looked like video game characters during fight scenes. The film is 2h7m total and Erik Matti gave very few scenes a slow down. In those scenes, a character’s gruesome death or remark would hit us, shock us. 

Isn’t that a portrayal of our country and how facts are presented to us? Equally important, isn’t that a portrayal of how Filipinos see, feel, react to, and (sadly, rarely) think about what is presented to us–our history, current events, and our nation’s future? Most of the time, the news is animated for us. Be it the current administration’s “war” on drugs, corruption in the government, our islands getting taken over by China, our flailing economy, and more. Then, once in a while, some news hit close to home and we pause to take the shock.

If you’re looking to watch a suspenseful, action-packed movie, there are a plenty on Netflix and BuyBust is just one of them. But if you’re looking for a work of fiction that challenges our reality as a nation, BuyBust is a must-see, a masterpiece, a necessary film for this generation and the future ones.