‘Pedicab’ (‘Pauwi na’): Film Review | Shanghai 2017

Winner of a best film endowment during a Shanghai Film Festival, a black-humored Philippine play follows a Manila dive family as they lapse to a country.

Strong amicable critique spiny with black amusement distinguishes Philippine play Pedicab, destined by Paolo Villaluna, who done a happy jail play The Inmate, and co-written with writer Ellen Ramos. An ironic, cigarette-smoking Jesus Christ, invisible to everybody though a blind woman, accompanies Mang Pepe and his ragtag family of Manila dive dwellers on their strenuous tour by cycle rickshaw behind to a panorama they had left years earlier. Though it oozes consolation and care for society’s lowest dregs, a film is something of a churned bag to watch: a account drags on a bit numbingly for dual hours before a vast pay-off arrives in a deeply romantic finale. 

Pedicab cycled home from a Shanghai Film Festival with best film kudos, suggesting that it might have some-more festival life in it as it approaches a one-year symbol after initial release.

Mang Pepe (Bemboi Roco) and his mother Remy (Cherry Pie Picache) worker divided in a loud outward marketplace in a Quezon City dive that is also their home. Despite his advancing age and a nasty cough, he peddles vegetables and other sell around city for miserly clients; she takes in washing and complains bitterly about how unwashed it is. Their daughter Pina sells cigarettes on a travel and their chubby son J.P. takes peculiar jobs while his immature wife, a blind Isabel (award-winning singer Meryll Soriano of Donor), waits for their initial child to be born. At a finish of a day there’s frequency adequate income to put food on a table. Yet notwithstanding their misery and bickering, a family appears enviably close and loving.

Bringing to mind Ettore Scola’s classical Down and Dirty, that chronicled a misery of an extended family vital in a shantytown outward Rome in a 1970s, a initial half of a film convincingly establishes a slumdog sourroundings that conditions each partial of a characters’ lives, even their hopes and dreams. Pedicab is indeed a kinder film of a dual since a screenwriters have an apparent love for their characters, who intermittently seem in black-and-white anticipation scenes set on an abstract, maybe heavenly, dance floor. Removed from their spiritless vital quarters, they turn normal people to whom a spectator can relate.  

However, a set-up is resting and most shade time passes before a initial branch point, when Mang Pepe has a cadence of fitness and decides to pierce his family behind to their local village. The city has not over their hopes for a improved life; distant from it. They leave in a passed of night, make-up residence and home on dual cycle rickshaws, one of that has been “borrowed” for a occasion, and conduct for a highway. Their dog and Jesus tab along and both will play essential roles in saving a small band.

It’s a prolonged highway home diligent with several dramas and adversity, though usually in a shutting stage do all a threads come together in a strenuously romantic way. For all his ungodly diagnosis of Jesus Christ, including wearing a barbed-wire climax and peering by vast holes in his hands where his stigmata were, Jess Mendoza’s J.C. says a lot of correct things about a definition of tellurian pang that ring even truer after a preceding dual hours of disasters.

Though formed on a loyal story, Pedicab has frequency any documentary feeling; a characters are lensed to pierce out a heightened illusory vividness. The loosely strung together account is another story, and tighter modifying would positively assistance pierce a movement along faster. In a categorical roles, Roco, Picache and Soriano are laughably dirty though eventually effective in touching a heartstrings.

Production company: Universal Harvester
Cast: Bemboi Roco, Cherry Pie Picache, Meryll Soriano, Jerald Napoles, Jess Mendoza, Chai Fonacier
Director: Paolo Villaluna
Screenwriters: Paolo Villaluna, Ellen Ramos
Producers: Ellen Ramos, Paolo Villaluna
Executive producer: Milagros Ong How
Director of photography: Sasha Palomares
Production designer: Maulen Fadul
Music: Pike Ramirez, Veena Ramirez
Editors: Paolo Villaluna, Ellen Ramos
Venue: Shanghai Film Festival (Competition)

128 minutes