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‘I Love You, Hater’: A Film that Teaches Not...

11 July 2018 Comments (0) Views: 138 FilipinARTS

‘The Maid in London’ is definitely not a Romantic-Comedy; but a Historical Human Drama

(A Review)

Maybe because Filipinos are suckers of romantic-comedies and proof of it is how Filipino audience consume Koreanovelas both in films and on television; but this BL Panganiban-inspired story from the book ‘Tago ng Tago (TNT)’ is not what most ‘hopeless romantic’ individuals would go for; it rather offers the contrary.

The Danni Ugali debut film ‘The Maid in London’ is definitely NOT the same with that of the 2002 American romantic comedy-drama film directed by Wayne Wang and based on a story by John Hughes—‘Maid in Manhattan’ with Jennifer Lopez and Ralph Fiennes as the lead stars. But what is striking about the film is how it attempted to present the sad plight of Filipinos who were forced to seek greener pastures abroad; leaving behind their respective families behind; and hoping to provide better futures for their loved ones.

‘The Maid in Manhattan’ is NO way to be compared to ‘The Maid in London’.

It may have sounded like the Hollywood film ‘The Maid in London’; the Andi Eigenmann-starrer is definitely not a fairytale and romantic love story. Eigenmann’s character Margo may have finally started a new life after what transpired on London, but it is still not out of a mere imagination to satisfy the demands of ‘hopeless romantics’. It chooses to take a different route, a more serious and series of unfortunate events for the characters in the story.

The BL Panganiban-based film may not entirely or directly the stories of the characters portrayed by the actors; but still the struggles, the adventures and the misfortunates were for real and are based on historical human dramas of vulnerable groups—the undocumented migrants who eventually turned out to be victims of human trafficking and labor violations abroad.

(L-R): Joshua De Guzman and Alexis Navarro play Nido and Faye, the undocumented immigrants in the story of ‘The Maid in London’.

 

Voices that needs a Chance to be heard via Cinemas.

Certainly, documentary films and other forms of artistic work like this independently-produced film needs a chance to be presented and be heard to a greater audience.

Admittedly, there were a lot of films that made great hits in the box-office, but this collaborative work of Ugali and his other brilliant, not-so big stars still managed to pierce the hearts of its audience (except of course to those who came in with reservations and high expectations about the film) and were comforted with how the lives of the three undocumented migrants—MargoFaye and Nido portrayed by EigenmannAlexis Navarro and Joshua De Guzman, respectively.

A Film based on BL Panganiban and directed by Danni Ugali

Andi Eigenmann stars as Margo, a woman who is willing to do everything just to provide a good future for her family especially her two kids. She went abroad and worked as a domestic helper, but is an undocumented immigrant in London.

Posted by Jude Cartalaba on Saturday, June 30, 2018

Both Moving and Inspiring in its Very Essence.

Ugali as may not be one of the finest filmmakers, but he has potentials of hitting the right projects someday. He has learned from his mentors like the late master directors Maryo J. delos Reyes and Gil Portes so as with the award-winning Brillante Mendoza and recently with Arlyn Dela Cruz.

In this film, he was able to bring out the tamed but more mature kind of acting that Eigenmann is able to offer to her audience and her fans as well. And the best thing about the film, even if it meandered a bit in its storytelling—it still didn’t bore me. It hooked me till the end especially when Margo had to face the real self.

Another thing that needs to be celebrated in the film is the theme on Filipinos close-knitted with their families. It is the trait that others may deem to question but is still remarkably admirable in many ways.

‘The Maid in London’ is not about encouraging Filipinos to become TNTs, but it is about staying together as a family, no matter what challenges may come and triumph with faith in God and in the innate goodness of humans.

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