Two elderly matriarchs bear the consequences of a crime involving their grandsons: one is murdered, the other is the suspect.
The Filipino new wave is responsible for some of the peaks of contemporary cinema and Brillante Mendoza remains one of its foremost talents. Mendoza is the movement’s classically minded social realist, and with Grandmother he creates a powerful portrait of the struggle of women in modern Manila.
A beautiful story of unconditional love about those who are mothers twice and do everything for their beloved grandchildren, in a confuse place where almost nobody can bee seen or heard in between the crowd. The handheld camera put us in the middle of that crowded scenario, letting us expecting for the denouement of a war where the most powerful gun is the audacity of the wise ones. One of the best films I've seen.
Mendoza's 'Lola' tells a powerful and moving tale about two grandmothers on opposite sides of a tragedy both doing what they can within the poverty they live in to provide for their respective families. For one its trying to raise funds for a funeral; for the other getting her grandson free from jail. Scripting excels as does the turn by Anita Linda ('Adela').
"Look at that kid, he's not wearing clothes!," says the American young director shooting from the train on his Poverty Tour in the Philippines. "Shoot him at 60fps. In slow motion. SloMo makes everything look great."
The material here is basically the kind of thing we would expect in terms of international cinema made on the margins in the manner of the Italian neorealists and their pan-global progeny. And sure enough: the strongest things here combine naturalistic performances from non-professionals and extraordinary use of locations. I do, however, have major issues w/ the aesthetic, the camera sucking at life like a leech.
We all know about the 20 min plot point rule: the limits of patience and reasonable viewer expectations. But sometimes when I begin to feel jittery in this age of cinematic saturation, I need to step back and ask myself what I want a film to do for me. On its own terms, Grandmother opens up a world where grief, labor, social justice and kinship can be heard in the sound of a raindrop and the respite of a television.
I love how intimate this was, it was almost like I could feel the rain or the wind. It felt like a documentary. It was an interesting take, showing two grandmothers connected in such an awful way. I think platonic love is underrated in today's society and media so I really love that this focused on that kind of love and that bond between families. It was emotional, and equal parts heartwarming and heart-wrenching.