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A Mini-Review on a Cinemalaya Entry


Separados: Tackling Husband’s Struggles and Victories

This New Breed entry from this year’s Cinemalaya Philippine Independent Film Festival, titled: ‘Separados’ is a story written by Gb Sampedro and Enrique V. Ramos with a screenplay by Enrique V. Ramos. It is about six husbands who found themselves in the path of separating from their wives.

Separados

According to its description, the film is mostly bittersweet, partly comic, partly tragic saga of six men played by Victor Neri, Ricky Davao, Jason Abalos, Anjo Yllana, Erik Santos, and Alfred Vargas (who happens to be one of the executive producers of the film) who have separated from their wives. Based on true stories, their parallel and overlapping tales are framed by a church wedding to a second wife by one of them; who grabs another chance at matrimonial bliss.

The film has a commercial appeal that can pass as a mainstream in its quality, however, I just find this movie that a bit ‘preachy’ with its emphasis about marriage. Apart from that, I felt that the film is too ‘coincidental’ to have brought altogether the six male leads and made their characters to be interconnected with each other. Its attempt to provide its probable audience the appetite to watch it because of the known stars involved in the story.

Though the script tried to distribute equal exposures for the six male characters, I felt that it needed to tighten some scenes to avoid it to be dragging at times. All the six men in this film may have interesting stories to tell, but I think Neri’s Santi stood out since his journey opened the film and concluded it as well.

Davao’s character that essays the coming out from the closet and was falling for another married and an illegal drug dependent guy played by Abalos was tragic. The only thing I didn’t understand was the inclusion of Arman’s character in the wedding ceremony of Santi and Gabby as a ghost. I think when he was stabbed to death; it was no longer necessary to have him as part of ‘real-worlds’ of the five male lead characters.

Another ‘torture’ stories revolved around the characters portrayed by Vargas and Santos. But perhaps the most effective performance here is the one of Vargas. Discover how he turned into an alcoholic.

‘Separados’ is the male local version of ‘Desperate Housewives’ TV show—that’s just my opinion. It is quite interesting for the film to tackle about the husband’s struggles and victories as opposed to the usual wife-themed stories. If I am to rate it, five being the highest—I give it a three-star.

Watch the trailer here.

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