This is by far the most disturbing and the only current movie that made me feel infuriated.
I do not know where to start. I do not want to give spoilers because I want people to feel what I’ve felt watching the movie. I want you to be moved, to be hurt, to be angered and to rant about the cancerous reality that has plagued our society and how the director decided to end the movie. (Yep, I have issues on how the director decided to wrap up everything.)
I would like to think the ending didn’t mean hopelessness. I would like to think that their will to retrieve what they have lost didn’t turn out in vain, that no effort was ever wasted no matter how trying the moments were. I’d like to think the part where they ran and escaped signified a new journey and that they’d do it in a smarter way this time.
Sincerely, I’d like to think they were happy.
Oh well, for those of you who don’t want spoilers please stay away from this article right now because I do not think I will be able to contain my rage any longer than 5, 4, 3, 2, 1.
Ok, you’ve been warned.
It started with a hit and run scene where the relatives were panicking trying to get a jeepney so they could take their girl to the hospital. Yes, they waited for a jeepney instead of a taxi because the story revolves around people who live in the street. People who don’t have money to buy beyond their basic needs.
And there was Jane carrying her barely 30-day-old baby, watching the distressful event unfold. Jane is 16 and uneducated. She curses a lot. She was even scolding her baby for crying, threatening of throwing it off the bridge if it keeps on wailing.
Then comes Aris. Yes, you must have guessed it. Aris is the father of Jane’s son, a 17-year-old rugby boy. He curses a lot. Well I guess, cursing is part of the street life where you need to be tough to survive.
Despite that they curse a lot, Jane and Aris were better parents for most part because they chose to toughen up and accepted the responsibilities of being parents in the best way they could.
When Jane lost her baby, she did everything she knows she could do to have Baby Arjan back. She went back and forth in the place where she lost him, asked around, went to the police, seeked helped from a politician, went to a radio station and allowed herself and Aris be interviewed on a national television.
And every attempt had caused her emotional distressed.
(For those of you who didn’t see my warning, I’d warn you again about spoilers.)
The most distressing part was when she went to the police station to report about the incident. She was scrutinized by the police by asking stupid and unsettling questions like “What age did you lose your virginity?” “Was it with your husband?”
When she said no and that it was her mother’s live-in partner to whom he had lost her virginity to she was called a cunt and was accused of flirting.The insults didn’t end there. She was then asked by the police in a thundering voice to show him how she breastfed her son, demanding her to pull her shirt up and show them her lactating breasts.
As a woman, this will always be the most disturbing part. I couldn’t help but wonder how a human being, conceived by a woman, kept him safe for nine months, could humiliate her after he has grown up. (What kind of monster could that be?)
The ordeal continued. This is the kind of movie where characters are full of faults, ugliness and abuse. This is the kind of movie that disturbs and worries you how monstrous the world is for underprivileged people. How easy it is for humans to judge based on how another human looks like.
Honestly, I do not like people (esp mothers) using their children, begging for money in the streets. I abhor such act. Jane, despite her situation, has never used her child and that is one thing good about her. She is more “mother” to Baby Arjan than her own mom who told her to let her baby go and just create another one. (I can not even imagine such mother exists. They do not deserve to be called one.)
I can only clap my hands on how the character of Jane was crafted. She is a real person, who commits mistakes and as human as we are, tries her best to undo it.
It feels good to know that there are movies created that make us care and makes us reevaluate how we treat people. This movie reminds me of a quote, “If you can not help them, at least, do not hurt them.”
This movie deserves to be watched all over again. However, I still have an issue. I didn’t like how it ended. It was rather abrupt if I may say. I felt like the running part was the climax scene only to transition to ending. What a frustrating way to end the story. But if the goal of the production team was to make the viewers frustrated then they did it like a pro. I was overwhelmed. The feeling of wanting to reach orgasm (which you did) but ended before you wanted it to end. (A metaphor borrowed from a friend whom i won’t mention to protect her reputation but this friend was the one who always drags me to watch a movie. Her name initials are AMC. If you know who she is, spare her.)