Here’s a film review about a movie made in the settings of Tondo, Manila. A typical riches-to-rag story which I really want to see! Here’s a snapshot of the review and please read the entire review by following the link below.
After a making a few investments gone wrong, self-made tycoon Ricardo (Robert Arevalo) finds himself at risk of plummeting from his pedestal back down to the poverty he came from. He decides to step down on his own accord before that can happen, selling all his properties save for his apartment complex in Tondo, the Manila slum he grew up in.
Worried that his privileged grandkids won’t be able to stomach the real world once he’s gone, Ricardo urges them to come tough it out with him in Tondo so that they can “grow balls,” as he puts it. What follows is a series of ridiculous encounters, from sticky bathroom situations to questionable street food practices, that show Ricardo just how much can change when you leave your kingdom unchecked.
“Where I Am King” is a both a family comedy and riches-to-rags story, lighthearted and moralizing all at once.
The film is the comeback for veteran Filipino director Carlos Siguion-Reyna after a 14-year absence from the industry. Like the plot, the movie itself was also a family affair, with Siguion-Reyna’s wife Bibeth Orteza as screenwriter, son Rafael Siguion-Reyna playing Ricardo’s grandson Ricky, and niece Cris Villonco playing Ricardo’s granddaughter Anna.
As an amusing production filled with Philippine showbiz royalty, the 2014 film stood to be a local favorite when it first debuted. It has since made the international rounds, showing at festivals like Toronto’s TIFF and now at the Seattle International Film Festival (SIFF).
“Where I Am King” is an odd gem among the SIFF foreign comedy offerings that’s worth watching, even if for the sole purpose of entertainment. Filled with slapstick humor, outlandish plot twists, and at times offensive jokes all typical of Filipino comedy, it’s not a movie for those seeking a highbrow viewing experience. However, for everybody else, “Where I Am King” will prove to be a satisfying story that never tries too hard yet still manages to tug at the heartstrings.
As grandkids Anna and Ricky spend time getting to know their new neighbors in the slum, they learn how resilient people can really be and start to see that resilience in themselves, just as grandpa planned.
Meanwhile, Ricardo is in for a rude awakening as he learns that the Tondo of today is much wilder than the one he grew up in. It’s an opportunity to grow for all three of them that highlights the importance of remembering your roots, an especially sentimental message for Filipino audiences around the world.
Filipinos and others alike can look forward to the largely positive and comedic portrayal of Tondo, a notoriously impoverished neighborhood that’s depicted in a gloomy way more often than not. By presenting the locals as multidimensional rather than merely depressing, the movie offers a slice of life that gives the story its charming character.
Source: The Daily of University of Washington