Saturday, November 24, 2012
Marlon Villar (Arnold Reyes) works as a driver for the local politician Manuel Chango ( Menggie Cobarrubias ). His daughter Elvie is the same age as Chango's daughter Sophie and they are close friends despite the disapproval of both sets of parents especially Ms. Chango who warns Marlon for driving Elvie around during working hours.
Marlon is also involved with the politicians other habits; cleaning up after him when he has done his business. At the same time his wife is in he hospital in need of a transplant.
Kidnappers stop Marlon as he is driving Sophie home from school. His daughter Elvie who should not have been in the car is also in the back seat. This is where the tension picks up and continues to build from here to the end of the film. Over the next hour Director Ron Morales takes us on a tour of the seedy underbelly of Manila into the areas that only the police, deviants and the criminal elements dwell.
A multi award winner on the Festival circuit. Graceland is a gut wrenching drama. It touches on the major issues in the Philippines today, social issues between classes, under age prostitution, the kidnapping academic with organ trafficking thrown in for good measure.
Morales keeps the film moving forward amidst great performances from the cast. The best of which is Dio De Las Paz providing a great turn as police detective Ramos working on behalf of Chango and suspicious of everyone all the time.
I can definitely recommend this film.
*** 1/2 out of 4
Graceland | Ron Morales | Philippines | 2012 | 84 Min.