Thursday, June 11, 2009

Andong (Rommel Tolentino, 2008)

Andong is a short-feature film that I want to view again and again. The Cinemalaya 2008 movie is a rollicking take on a boy obsessed with television shows. He spends most of his time outside their home because they don’t have a television. One day, he comes across a man selling a raffle ticket worth 20 pesos. The main prize is a television set. Andong then sets out to raise 20 pesos.

Among the best and memorable Cinemalaya images last year are scenes showing Andong and his younger brother trying to get a glimpse of their favorite television programs. It is achingly painful to watch them peering through a crack or tiptoeing just to hurdle obstacles to their television viewing. It’s a good thing the bittersweet images were followed by rip-roaring funny segments. The movie is a laugh fest to the max. The excellent and award-winning script also dealt with the value of hard-earned money.

The two boys were very good actors. I break into a smile every time I recall the infectious laughter of Andong’s sibling. The trailer is right. It made sense to me after I viewed the short film. The two boys are every parent’s nightmare.

I was surprised at the excellent storytelling of competing short-feature films in 2008. My Pet and God Only Knows are some of the standouts. But, the best is still Milo Tolentino’s Andong. This is the second short-feature film of Tolentino to get the Best Short Film Award at the Cinemalaya competitions. He is now working on a full-length film for the Cinema One Originals 2009 and another short-feature film for Cinemalaya Cinco.

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