Seen 17 September 2013
Ratings from other sources
My ratings 7.0/10
A homage to two well known Philippines film makers, Lino Brocka and Ishmael Bernal.
As the title suggests, the story is centred on Manila, the capital city of the Philippines. In this case the focus is the underprivileged of that huge metropolis.
We get two stories, one on a son turned drug addict and another on a loyal bodyguard. The two represent that side of the city seldom seen by many. The black and white cinematography together with the haunting jazzy soundtrack conveys the hope and despair of those struggling to make a living.
The rich and powerful remain as the bad guys. There is that black and white feel to the characters as human nuances are not explored. I'm not sure whether the present directors purposely wanted the acting style and mood to be exactly like those in the Brocka and Bernal films but if that was the intention, they succeeded.