ESSENTIAL NORA AUNOR Film
NAGLALAYAG A Passage Into The Highs And Lows Of Love
Naglalayag (Angora Films, 2004) directed by Maryo J. de los Reyes and written by Irma Dimaranan is an insightful and heartfelt presentation of the life of a Court Of Appeals Justice, who finds herself in the dilemma of dealing with the intensely personal issues of being a woman, mother and lover at the same time. The film makes few precious concessions to today's formulaic approaches to film storytelling and production and yet manages to affect both heart and mind of its viewers by the strength of its convictions and brave sympathy for the plight of its lead character.
Nora Aunor delivers a remarkably competent and mature performance, exhibiting not only skill and talent but fine dramatic sensibility as well. Aunor envinces an acting style that is sure, keen and affecting. Her fortitude and daring to star in this type of film, manifests rare artistic insight into the problematics of social change. In the much talked about funeral scene, Aunor saturates the screen with the pain and courage of a woman on the brink of the darkest despair. Yul Servo's smoldering passion and repressed aspirations lift the film to its heights, his performance in fact maps out the film's journey from the thickets of conflict to a most soulful destination. Servo avoids the well trodden path of facile tearjerker techniques and cogently reiterates the tenderness, helplessness, violation and rage that consume his character.
The writing merits of Naglalayag offers solid characterization that sustains momentum and surges into a tour de force conclusion. The screenplay's achievement rests on its skillful appropriation of the conventions of a commercial feature in its earnest effort to come up with a truly artistic, purposive and serious motion picture. The film moreover exposes the complex processes by which people are lured into, weakened and trapped in a web of crime and poverty, from which death becomes the only possible escape.
Cinematographer Odyssey Flores whose well controlled camera work is marked by unerring directorial command and precision. Jess Navarro's astute editing work has a keen sense of dramatic tension. Maryo J. de los Reyes' competent direction painstakingly deals with the discourse of love and the pleasure romance, of true love even. The film retraces the steps of this form of journey which gives rise to fluid feelings and emotions of displacement and rebuilding, of leaving and finding, of loss and fulifillment.
Naglalayag is a film which tells its story with the cinematic aesthetic in mind and heart. The film is filled with emotional rigor through which the affairs of the heart are dealt with, and dealt with intelligently. Naglalayag tackles a complex range of human relations premised on romance but problematizes it quite so rigorously so that love, though central in the lives of the characters is continually reread and therefore rewritten.