an ordinary name for a film that reenacted a very out of the ordinary event for those who lived through it. a 2012 spanish / american mainstream film production adapted from a spaniard family’s real account in the 2004 south-east asia’s indian ocean earthquake and subsequent devastating tsunami. the story revolves around the bennett family, whose mom and eldest son were separated form the dad and the younger two kids when the tsunami hit. the visual effects looked real and dramatic, with people and much bigger and at sharp debris bouncing back and forth in a gigantic whirlpool. naomi watts, whom i have been watching since her performances in 21 grams and king kong, gave a solid performance, with all the bruised make-up and such. her son in the film, tom holland, also delivered, with the scene reuniting with his two younger siblings especially touching. i dunno why the director casted ewan mcgregor, who just appeared a just tad too photogenic for someone running around in rags searching for his wife and kids.
the earthquake and tsunami were daily headlines for at least a few weeks for what i recall – my friend and i were glued to tv and interest newscasts re reports coming out nightly at home for much of the christmas and new year holidays then. what stuck me, apart from the good story-line (the real story can’t be bad, eh?) was the still the very european / white (well actually anglo, for the characters’ names were anglicized) narrative. the thai people were pretty much in and out of the background. perhaps the white privileged expats (an insurance company paid for medical evacuation flight to singapore for the five-member family at the end) did only hang out with each other, but this answers exactly the posts i ‘ve been seeing these days on “crazy rich asians” (the film) perpetuating stereotypes. society won’t advance unless diversity of storytelling take centre stage
What is WRONG with this picture?
The next generation of Korean songstresses? Freshly or not freshly under-the-knife delivery from some plastic surgeon in Seoul? Well I hope I am not getting some calls from their lawyers any time soon. And I certainly hope this is / they are NOT a mutation of “The Shape of Things”, in cinema or on stage! Ouch!
jay, a philipino film in 2009
Neil Postman said that America was the only country fixated on television, I beg to differ. As a matter of fact, the venom of “reality television” that told off over in the late 1990s has been spreading like wild fire. In this funny and made-to-believe-it-is but in reality a non-documentary was a good mix of drama, humour and at times almost horror.
A murdered teacher named Jay left behind a family in grief. The initial sadness was convoluted bit by bit as the reality TV director/producer, curiously also named Jay and his crew visited and filmed the family for his programme like vultures. The anecdotes when the sister of murdered Jay mistook a telephone call as her selection to the “Big Brother” show to various relatives and acquaintances of the dead “reenacting” their grief for the TV programme mocked on the obsession and the near-complete surrender to TV in many cultures. The “staging” of the apprehension of one of the suspects by the police was more than hilarious. If you watch this movie and can relate crack up to the humour in it, it seems natural that your culture, apart from that of the Pilipino and American, has succumbed to the far-reaching daily influence of reality TV are NOT the only two.
In an impoverished province where stable employment is hard to come by, getting famous on reality TV seems natural to the locals as it might bring money and fame and better lives in probably Manila. That is a depressing but sober observation.
This film garnered the best actor and best supporting actor and actress roles of the Golden Screen Awards in the Philippines in 2009.