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').
Astonishing how Mendoza keeps close to the bodies. You have this wind and this rain you can almost feel. I got the impression i was really watching this story from the inside, from Manilla (not hidden behind my screen). That's how strong "Lola" is ! Thanks to lighter and smaller cameras, you can enjoy this modern way of filmmaking. It might look amateurish or chaotic to some : believe me it's not. Strong identity.
"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.