Sunday, January 11, 2015

Chikkaness Review: Tragic Theater

Tragic Theater frightens because its rooted from an actual event and the feel of the movie was true. Close-ups were beautifully shot conveying the fear and tension that the movie wanted to convey.

Anne Marie Francisco (Andi Eigenmann), an ambitious and workaholic coordinator of the Department of Tourism, is tasked to ensure that the infamous building is free of unwanted spirits so that construction of an IMAX Theater inside the structure can proceed.  She seeks the help of Father Nilo (Estrada), a leader of spirit communicators known for his radical methods of supernatural cleansing.  Together with his team, Fr. Nilo and Anne head for their mission, initially succeeding in contacting the spirits.  But the angry souls reveal that something more sinister exists among them and it refuses to leave. Much worse, it will not let anyone--dead or living--escape.

Andi deserves all the projects she has as she can carry it on with enthusiasm and dedication on her work. Such is evident on his portrayal in Tragic Theater. I felt that I was with her as she pursue in her goal to ward off the spirits in the Film Center and at the same dealing with her personal fears and struggles which I think was the core of the movie and not the ghosts of the scary theater.

Direk Tikoy Aguiluz highlighted the motivation of the characters' actions by inserting scenes from their past at the middle of the exorcism rituals. He also made sure that production design to convey a 1999 atmosphere where the visit to the film center of spiritual communicators were consistent throughout the movie. I like that he used the Filipinos penchant to be checking his/her cellphone to create tension as this is something that everyone can relate to and who knows might change ones habit. I also applaud the way he directed his supporting actors as they were able to deliver it right especially those coming from Jovic Susim, Roxanne Barcelo, and Gab de Leon. I just find it weird though that Andi's character has to be hang in the air for like 30 minutes of the movie running time. His of use CGI was clean and delivered scary moments that were not awkward to watch.

The close-up shots of John Estrada highlighting his emotional nuances through his eyes were terrific and intense. His relationship with Andi Eigenmann's character was not clearly defined though that became an open question from my end after watching the movie.
Christopher de Leon was without a doubt a very good actor but I think it was not used at the fullest in the movie and I think it's because he was limited by his involvement on the character of Andi and could potentially be on the goal of the writers for his role. Nonetheless, his eyes were filled with emotional baggages that for me was haunting.

I rate this movie as 7/10. It excels on production design, make-up, visual effects but needs to work on its screenplay and editing.

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