No wonder international motion pictures company Warner Bros. agreed to distribute Mallari. This ran in my head as I sat through the almost 2-hour official entry to the Metro Manila Film Festival by Mentorque Productions. Well done, I would say.

A confessed non-fan of gory and scary movies, I avoided them as much as I could. I find it interesting how getting hooked on Mallari’s story took over and I thoroughly enjoyed watching the local thriller. Two minutes into viewing and I already felt the adrenaline rush. A gripping opening scene successfully set the stage for a captivating narrative.

After the successful worldwide premiere of the movie last night, I can safely say that Mallari is a memorable cinematic experience. The film not only captures the audience’s attention but also leaves a lingering effect with its script (quotable quotes), storytelling, acting performances, and attention to technical details.

Casting and Acting

Piolo Pascual takes the spotlight by delivering a commendable portrayal of three (or more) roles. The distinct ones were Fr. Severino Mallari, Johnrey Mallari, and Dr. Jonathan Mallari De Dios. His versatility shone through as nuances in each character’s performance were executed with precision, showcasing his acting prowess and making me forget there were two Piolos in a single scene.

Papa P’s palpable chemistry with his leading ladies from different timelines, particularly Elisse Joson and Janella Salvador, seamlessly overcomes the generational gap. I readily dismissed the roughly 20-year age difference.

Effective casting ensured each actor fit the role, creating authentic onscreen dynamics. Elisse maximized her limited exposure, while Gloria Diaz and Janella Salvador effortlessly showed us why they deserve to give life to their characters. The three female characters had the chance to present their different sides.

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JC Santos’ subtle yet spine-chilling contribution also shows potential for an acting award. Even the supporting characters were natural in acting. They helped enrich the overall impact of the film.

Direction, Narrative, and Pacing

During the first few minutes, I must admit to assuming that I was going to get confused by the details of a story that cuts across three timelines but the narrative unfolded coherently, addressing potential confusion and clarifying questions along the way to keep the audience engaged. The storyline took me on a rollercoaster ride and mind-boggling journey, effectively keeping me on the edge of my seat. The director, writer, and editor deserve credit.

Technical Aspects

Scoring and sound effects play a significant role in enhancing the overall viewing experience, creating a heightened emotional impact. The consistent cinematography contributed to the film’s visual appeal and storytelling.

Potential and Awards

“Mallari” is poised for success in the Metro Manila Film Festival, showing promise in both ticket sales and awards. Piolo’s acting stands out, elevating the film beyond its visual appeal and making it easy for viewers to forget his “ultimate heartthrob” status.

Mallari did not only live up to my expectations but it surpassed them. Mentorque Productions is killing it with a film that not only entertains but also resonates.

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