Filipino auteur Brillante Mendoza’s gritty and authentic formal approach on Ma’ Rosa gives us a flavourful and palpable sense of place and community – though the same can’t be said of his characters, whose thoughts and feelings about their sticky situation are anyone’s guess.
Shot in a grubby, handheld vérité style, Ma’ Rosa’s real-time tale of a night gone awry is packed with confident long takes and some impressive travelling shots – a few focusing issues aside, it’s technically rather impressive. However with an underdeveloped script that does its characters few favours, Ma’ Rosa remains little more than a directorial showcase.
Shot entirely on location, Ma’ Rosa is so authentic you’ll feel like you’ve spent a night in Manila: though you won’t necessarily have enjoyed it.
CAST: Jaclyn Jose, Julio Diaz, Baron Geisler, Jomari Angeles
DIRECTOR: Brillante Mendoza
WRITER: Troy Espiritu
SYNOPSIS: Ma’ Rosa (Jose), a small-time drug dealer and mother to four children, is arrested, and her family must band together to buy her freedom from the corrupt police force.
Ma’ Rosa was screened In Competition at the 2016 Cannes Film Festival.