Saturday, January 7, 2012

Enteng ng Ina Mo


Ina Montecillo’s (Ai Ai de las Alas) kids are leaving her behind. Even best friend Rowena (Eugene Domingo) is relocating, giving her the dilemma that most aging single parents have to face: solitude. Meanwhile, Satana (Bing Loyzaga) casts a spell on grief-stricken Enteng Kabisote (Vic Sotto) who also gets left behind after wife Fey (Gwen Zamora) chooses to succeed Engkantasya’s throne in the absence of her mother Ina Magenta (Amy Perez) who gets kidnapped by her sister. Dysfunctional family, anyone?

I’m so sorry to say this. I tried hard, very hard, to laugh but I think there was only one instance when I did, and that was when Pip (Alwyn Uytingco) announces to everyone that his mom was “jinukot ng chakang birds.” It is not even funny to begin with but perhaps it was a quick brain fart that just grasped the opportunity to laugh at a supposedly funny movie. I was to give three clovers, but that would be unfair to Segunda Mano, hence I only give two. That one is not even comedy, but the unintentional laughs were plenty and the family still enjoyed. For Enteng ng Ina Mo it was around two hours of staring indifferently at the screen trying to force out a laugh from my system. The bloopers in the end are more hilarious. Seriously.

Everybody is just so loud and exaggerated, as if they were doing theater. Ai Ai is loud. Eugene is even louder, but at least she has two other movies that redeem her from this ruckus. I see her cameo here as a homage since Tanging Ina also played a pivotal role in her movie career. Even Vic Sotto is overacting and his few drama scenes that should have been worth the wait also disappoint. At least Ai Ai has the regular crying scene typical of a Tanging Ina movie that manages to evoke something emotive from the audience, albeit very minimal.

All the while you would think that getting rid of Derramas would be a good thing. Apparently, it is a turn for the worse. Here they also spoof many of the romantic comedies we’ve seen of late but it simply does not work, which is strange because that is actually one of the factors that contributed to the first Tanging Ina being a hit. Perhaps it is inappropriate? Vic and Ai Ai might have chemistry, but they are obviously too old for this. They probably forgot that these two get all the praises when they make movies where they concentrate on being parents, which is what is age appropriate for them. Here, there is just too much of the unnecessary mushiness that would have seemed right, if they did it properly.

It is sad that this movie topped this year’s MMFF (200 million by now, more or less) and is followed by Segunda Mano (100 million by now) in far second. Are these what people really want to see nowadays? Here’s the thing. Ai Ai and Vic are, no doubt, box office actors. Whatever movie they release, it would surely be a hit thanks to their reputation. My suggestion is, why not give these two an original script and a good director? Just so to give us something that would be deserving of the 200 million peso box office returns.

Pak Pak My Dr Kwak was also corny, but it banked on that father and son thing that did not even bring it a hundred million pesos at the tills, but I was satisfied when I left the cinema because the story touched me somehow. The first Tanging Ina was also a hit mainly because of Ai Ai. The concept of motherhood trumped all the over-the-top plot twists and absurdities in the story. But too much of something is simply bad. Could we not we get rid of all the rehashed material? Besides, it is not as if this duo would fail miserably if they tried something new.

But this movie is also about family, in fact there are two! Yes, but the mash up  is so forced that it just screams "Look, we're milking the franchise. Two of them! Ka-ching, ka-ching!" This overshadows all the we’re-a-family-movie aspects that could have turned out just fine if they were dissociated from two aging franchises that should have ended last year, as promised. Or has the definition of "last na 'to" suddenly changed without my knowledge?

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