I’m sorry. . . but Mulawin The Movie just doesn’t do it for me.
I had a choice of Kutob, Enteng Kabisote 2 or Mulawin and I chose the only “Rated A” film—which shows just how much I know about movies (because in my book, it’s worth at least a D).
My expectations weren’t that high—after all, the lead male actor is from the same genepool as Ruffa Gutierrez and the lead female actor’s most famous line (“Darna”) had to be dubbed (by Regine Velasquez) as she just couldn’t cut it—but I expected, at least, entertainment. Well, maybe, . . . That’s Entertainment from the 80’s. . . as in the German Moreno type of entertainment.
Just to get it out of the way, the script and story are both unoriginal—a bad mix and match of every sword and sorcery epic as well as obvious rip-offs from Tolkien—and the acting. . . well, let’s just say that the Gutierrez genepool is gorgeous but that’s it.
Richard Gutierrez is good-looking but he just does not have the gravitas to be the sugo or the Aragorn-type (and for that matter, neither does Ding Dong Dantes, who is atrociously miscast here); he does not have the poise, he does not have the air, he does not have the voice, he does not have the built, he does not have. . .it. Perhaps if they had given the role to someone like Jong Hilario (whatever happened to him?) except he’s not white, meztizo and doesn’t have straight hair.
Angel Locsin is gorgeous but she is absolutely wooden; the fatigue from doing several series one after the other is showing. She goes through her lines, stiff and . . . wooden; it is as if she was doing a really bad Amy Austria impersonation (Amy Austria is one of those actors who can say her lines with a minimum of expression and still manage to get the point across—as my late classmate and seatmate for 4 years in law school Gail would say, binabato ang mga linya).. Interestingly, Amy Austria is cast as Angel Locsin’s mother.
The Encantadia ladies are also there but only Iza Calzado and Sunshine Dizon are given much to do. Iza Calzado is one of the most beautiful faces around but she still has to put her finger on acting; her turn as the Galadriel-figure in this film is flat, again she does not have the gravitas for it. Sunshine Dizon is a pleasant revelation; she realizes that her role is hammy and she overacts like anything—in this way, she’s the only great performer in this movie because she doesn’t take it seriously (of course, I’m presuming here that she did this on purpose and that her school of method acting isn’t really from the Christmas ham school). And by the way, what happened to Diana Zubiri?
The editing is bad and very choppy; midway through the film, I got a headache from the editing.
And don’t get me started on the use of the South Border song. It’s a good song but it doesn’t fit the scenes where it is played. It’s jarring, obtrusive and doesn’t add to the atmosphere of the film. We really haven’t gotten it yet, do we? You can have a great song for a theme and not have it played throughout the film—take The Lord of the Rings for example; Annie Lennox won an Oscar for her song but you hardly recognized it or heard it because it was played so unobtrusively.
Even the effects and the sets aren’t “Rated A” stuff. The sets are cramped and the use of the camera shots emphasize this—consider the wedding scene between Gutierrez and Locsin. No grandeur, no pomp, no long shots of fantastic locales. . . it’s like an extended skit from the 80’s That’s Entertainment.
I will stop here because I’m getting a headache writing about this movie. The long and short of it, Mulawin never takes off, let alone soar.