Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Temptation Island (1980, Joey Gosiengfiao)

The original version of Temptation Island is one of the craziest and funniest local movies ever. The dialogues are truly hilarious. Here's a sampling of memorable lines:

Suzanne: 20/20 yata ang vision ko
Bambi: Sorry ha. I thought that was your bustline

Ship stowaway: I'm a latecomer
Azenith: Latecomer?!? Sa gitna ng dagat? Ano'ng sinakyan mo, taxi?

Suzanne: So what else is new? Everybody needs a shipwreck once in a while.

Can't get enough of these delectable lines? Watch the film and you'll get lots and lots of similar sumptuous dialogues. What makes them doubly funny is the way they were delivered by the superb ensemble. Aside from the witty comic quips, the movie also boasts of memorable blazing hot visual images such as Suzanne’s lotion scene with her girl Friday and the mouth-watering ice cream/chicken fantasy scenes.

The film does a neat job of introducing the colorful characters. A plethora of promotional spots for the Miss Manila Sunshine contest convinces several ladies to join in the hunt for the title. Four beauties get selected in the pre-finals night of the contest. Miss Body Beautiful is the innocent Dina Espinola (Dina Bonnevie). Miss Photogenic is the social climbing crybaby Bambi Belisario (Bambi Arambulo). Miss Friendship is the bitchy burgis Suzanne Reyes (Jennifer Cortez). Miss Talent is the self-confessed con artist Azenith Tobias (Azenith Briones). The four finalists are then whisked off to a yacht to start their month-long interaction with the beauty pageant judges.

As fate would have it, a fire breaks out in the yacht. The occupants jump overboard for safety. The four lovely ladies end up in a desert island devoid of potable water, food, and shelter. The hot summer season compounded the woes of the ladies.

Five other people also share their misfortune as castaways. Joshua is the gay coordinator of the beauty contest. Ricardo is the current flame of Joshua. Stowaway Alfredo is an ardent admirer of Dina. Umberto is a hunky cruise ship waiter. Maria is the loyal girl Friday of Suzanne. Their interactions with the finalists spell out who will survive and who will not survive the horrendous ordeal. The castaways get to throw away their petty quarrels, biases, material riches, and even their panties.

I adored the performances of Azenith Briones and Jennifer Cortez. The scheming Azenith Tobias is a joy to watch. When she confesses to being a crook, she did it with style. Briones’ cool delivery of her spiel is sheer delight. Her natural confidence is also seen in her wonderful speech at the coronation night. I also enjoyed her 'shit' moment with the hunky waiter. Wow! Those are excellent, profound dialogues from Umberto.

However, it is Cortez’s Suzanne Reyes who ends up with the lion’s share of memorable dialogues. From ‘Komunista!’ to ‘My panty stays right here’ to ‘Hindi nga, eh. Parang nag-jogging lang,’ her retorts are outrageously funny. Her outspoken character always gets downright dirty in the ground due to a series of catfights but her optimism and sunny attitude helps her to stand tall at the end of the film.

The movie’s legion of cult followers put a lot of pressure over the hotly-anticipated film remake by Chris Martinez. The new version seems to be fun and yummy. It features five of the prettiest, sexiest, and funniest stars in the movie industry, namely Marian Rivera, Heart Evangelista, Lovi Poe, Solenn Heussaff, and Rufa Mae Quinto. Award-winning director Martinez is a self-confessed fan of the original film and creator of the wacky hit Here Comes the Bride. If Rivera ends up playing the Reyes character, then this film promises to be a wild riot. But, before watching the new version, do try your best to catch the original film. There might still be VCD copies of it in video stores.

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