"Metro Manila is so spellbound by its setting that it is a good hour before we discover what kind of film it is going to be. It begins as a swirling drama of survival in the Filipino capital — but then suddenly it slips off down an alleyway, only to emerge a scrupulously engineered, Christopher Nolan-ish crime thriller." - Robbie Collin, The Telegraph
Total crap. The purpose is: get a westerner director to showcase the sad gritty lives of the poor people of the Philipines to western audiences in an educational fashion. Indulge in reality cliches to make the viewer feel so bad that ditching reality altogether in the end will work by appeasing their consciences.
Sean Ellis follows up 'Broken' and 'Cashback' with this foray into Metro Manila and has made one of the year's most transfixing and exciting films. A tale of a farmer and his wife forced by poverty into the city who take dangerous jobs to start over and support their young children. At first he feels he has achieved a good job but soon finds himself manipulated into a heist and possible destitution. A total gem.
There are cliches and the drama can be painfully slow. The ending and the brilliant acting, especially by John Arcilla, are the redeeming forces here. Still, thumbs up to Sean Ellis for a brave portrait of Filipinos who leave their lives in the provinces to try their luck in Metro Manila.
Gut-wrenching story about poor farmer taking his family to Manila to find a better life. In what seems like an endless series of lucky breaks and disappointments, the farmer's naivety eventually wears off and out of desperation he sorts out a final solution for his family.