Thursday, March 15, 2012
Movie Review: Corazon: Ang Unang Aswang
Written and Directed by: Richard Somes
Screenplay by: Jerry Gracio
Produced and released by: StarCinema, Skylight Films
Starring: Erich Gonzales, Derek Ramsay, Mark Gil,
Epy Quizon, Mon Confiado, Tetchie Agbayani
Coming from a tragic past during World War II, Corazon (Erich Gonzales) only wanted one thing in life- to conceive a child. A loving wife to Daniel (Derek Ramsay), she wishes that their five-year marriage be blessed with a baby. But fate has not been helpful as all her efforts at conception seemed futile.
Together with Daniel, they leave town in search for a woman who could possibly help her. She is given a statue of San Gerardo, the patron saint for pregnant women, and was told to keep her faith no matter what happens. Her devotion pays off when she finally bears a child.
On the day of the child’s birth, they found the baby dead. Corazon’s world is shattered. She has kept her faith but her child was taken from her. Corazon’s anger envelopes the town in horror as a child dies each night.
After the success of Yanggaw, Director Richard Somes has fully evolved from an indie film-maker towards a promising mainstream horror-suspense director through Corazon: Ang Unang Aswang.
What more can I say? As an avid horror fanatic, I really must say that this film is the best Pinoy horror film made by an independent film-maker. What's great about Corazon: Ang Unang Aswang is that it brought the genre onto a whole new level.
The plot may at first be slow since the film is trying to establish the story of Corazon and Daniel as a hopeful couple wanting to have their own child. But, what is great with Director Richard is that the slow phase at the start is a progressing scheme that will lead you the conclusion on why did Corazon became an "aswang" on the latter.
Director Richard Somes took the first hour of the film to create an atmosphere wherein viewers could have a better grasp on the film's premise on becoming a "Monster" or "Aswang" that you wouldn't thought you would be. Its not about those scary and wild creatures with bloody faces and sharp teeth. Its more so of the societal problem. On how the society and even the people create monsters within themselves and to their fellowmen. It has a psychological approach to horror that has been creatively crafted in one film. I really commend how Direk Richard combined all these elements and thus, coming up with a very beautiful masterpiece.
The film's strength also lies in its wonderful Cinematography. I love the whole texture of the film. The texture blended well with its Production and the 1946 timeline setting. Its old and very Pinoy. I love the village scene and even the plains and forests. The 1946 timeline was consistent all throughout and is very evident in their lifestyle, houses, clothing and even the dialects used. Production cost my not be evidently high and costly, but generally, the film is consistent. Prosthetic-wise, it's good but it needs more improvement on some aspects. Nevertheless, the film scared me at some point though scary scenes are somewhat minimal.
The sound engineering and musical scoring was also good. It added on the film's aura and appeal. I just had a little problem on the lights used during night scenes. It is so bright. I expected it to be somewhat darker just like the technique Direk Richard used in filming Yanggaw. On some point, night scenes were like staged production and less realistic.
Acting-wise, I'm pretty impressed with the casts especially Erich Gonzales, who really did shine in this film. Erich's versatility as an actress has fully evolved in Corazon: Ang Unang Aswang. She deserves an award for her epic performance. I'm glad Erich has been given this big break. On the other hand, being the universal leading man, Derek Ramsay also showed his acting prowess and complimented well and effectively to Erich's character. Derek has also shown great performances in this film. Notable performances from Tetchie Agbayani and Mark Gil, Mon Confiado and Epy Quizon also contributed to the film's strength.
There are a lot of Aswang films that have been shown on theaters, but Corazon: Ang Unang Awang is very unique among them all. This film gave a clear personification on how are monsters created in the society. The film will give you a great but open ending. An ending that might be a birth of more questions for its viewers...
Just a piece of advise, don't look at this film as a horror one... More so, treat this film on a realistic basis... an in-depth approach to the creature we called "Aswang".
RATINGS: 5 STARS