Sisteraka (Review)

Sisterakas is Star Cinema's 2012 MMFF Entry. 
Photo from Star Mall Online.
It was a spur-of-the-moment decision to catch Star Cinema’s entry to this year’s Metro Manila Film Festival. So on Friday, the whole troop (that would be me, my siblings and our church mates) flocked SM San Lazaro and braved the long theater cashier queues just to get the 5pm screening of Vice Ganda’s latest comedy. Of course, I used my pass. Hahaha!


Aside from the fact that the movie would gain box-office success mainly because of its star studded cast, I never had any other expectations for the movie itself. I felt that it would be better to enter the movie theater with a blank slate—I might find it entertaining to say the least. I guess it doing so helped. A lot. Hahaha. To be honest, I found the movie amusing to a certain degree. Of course, the whole plot was predictable and there were recycled jokes here and there; but in sum, I felt it was fairly tolerable.

The movie’s plot revolves around half-siblings Totoy Bernice (Vice Ganda) and Dette (Ai Ai Delas Alas) who both lead separate lives. Totoy Bernice lives in an affluent mansion and is the owner of successful fashion apparel, Ponytale. He vows to get richer and eventually take his revenge from his father’s (Epi Quizon) other family for abandoning them and pushing her mother (Gloria Diaz) in the stairs which made her a paraplegic. Detty, on the otherhand, has barely enough income to keep her two daughters (Kathryn Bernardo and Xyriel Manabat) from stopping school. After the small custom apparel shop she’s working in closed, Detty soon finds herself applying as Totoy Bernice’s executive assistant. She eventually gets the position and does everything to impress the coldhearted Bernice. Amid all the hardwork and the eventual small victories Detty achieved, Bernice barely thanked her. Their adventures and misfortunes were made much ~worse (if it really did) by Roselle I-forgot-her-surname (Kris Aquino), owner of Ponytale’s rival fashion apparel company. A series of other events marked by an exchange of lines full of pun and references to each character’s personal lives, campy fights and several product endorsements complete the other half of the film.

Ai Ai Delas Alas is Detty in Sisteraka. Photo from angsawariko.com.
The decision to put Star Cinema’s box-office giants in one comedic movie was both good and bad. For one, it would definitely rake in a huge amount of profit from ticket sales. This was proven in Vice Ganda’s previous movies Petrang Kabayo and Praybeyt Benjamin, with Delas Alas’ successful Tanging Ina franchise in the past MMFFs as well as with Aquino’s horror flicks that had become staples in Pinoy pop culture. The movie’s director, Wenn Deramas, had also been elevated to successful director status mainly because of the profitable franchises he brought to the big screen.

Such accomplishments, however, are put in critical light because most of these movies lack substance, quality and class. The same sharp criticism was thrown at their recent offering—Sisteraka. As said, the movie’s plot was predictable—we’ll know that the characters would fight but would end up happily together in the end. Moreover, the characters portrayed by each actor were never new.

Vice Ganda is always the bad-gay-turned-good the same with his characters in Petrang Kabayo and Praybeyt Benjamin. He has his moments—the scene in his house with Wilma Doesnt where they were served coffee by an old maid in a red dress was golden as well as his wheelchair banter with his godson, Angelo (Daniel Padilla). The rest were either recycled or plain corny.

Aquino’s character would have been ala- Meryl Streep in The Devil Wears Prada or Glenn Close in 101 Dalmatians, if only she did good with it. She was awkward most of the time and the lines she delivered came out cheap-sounding because most of it were uncannily referenced to her personal life.

Delas Alas, on the other hand, gained a better footing compared to her co-stars. She fairly moved her audience to laugh with her adventures and sympathize with her misfortunes. But then again, we realize, it was the same character we saw a few years back—she was still Ina Montecillo of Tanging Ina only this time, she has two daughters compared to a dozen before.

Aside from the recycled characterizations and Aquino being deadweight, I felt the fashion industry backdrop was not given enough justice. Throughout the movie, we’ve never seen even an inch of the glimmer and color that highlight this glamorous industry. Instead, we’re treated to a pseudo-avant garde fashion sense almost similar to the eccentric choices made by eventologist Tessa Prieto-Valdes. I guess the overly-dressed characters were done in an attempt to add comical value to the plot but because it failed, it brought another low blow to the film.

As soon as I stepped out of the theater, the temporary laughs brought by the film subsided and I was left thinking what the movie’s added value was. I wracked my brains but ended up nothing. It wasn’t as trashy as it seemed, but the film’s lack of quality and wit proved a few things: (1) we’ll get bobo when we continue to patronize films that are founded on derogatory jokes, puns about showbiz lifestyle, and a flimsy plot; (2) film outfits would continue to produce films as such if the audience still line up every Christmas Day just to catch them; and (3) it’s a chicken-and-egg dilemma.

The extra cups of rice I had at Mang Inasal that evening filled my empty tummy. I hope the same fulfillment would be given by our local cinema in the coming years. And yes, it's a shame to admit that I watched it for the second time because friends asked me to accompany them. :( 

2 out of 5 stars.

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felix felicis: Sisteraka (Review)

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Sisteraka (Review)

Sisterakas is Star Cinema's 2012 MMFF Entry. 
Photo from Star Mall Online.
It was a spur-of-the-moment decision to catch Star Cinema’s entry to this year’s Metro Manila Film Festival. So on Friday, the whole troop (that would be me, my siblings and our church mates) flocked SM San Lazaro and braved the long theater cashier queues just to get the 5pm screening of Vice Ganda’s latest comedy. Of course, I used my pass. Hahaha!


Aside from the fact that the movie would gain box-office success mainly because of its star studded cast, I never had any other expectations for the movie itself. I felt that it would be better to enter the movie theater with a blank slate—I might find it entertaining to say the least. I guess it doing so helped. A lot. Hahaha. To be honest, I found the movie amusing to a certain degree. Of course, the whole plot was predictable and there were recycled jokes here and there; but in sum, I felt it was fairly tolerable.

The movie’s plot revolves around half-siblings Totoy Bernice (Vice Ganda) and Dette (Ai Ai Delas Alas) who both lead separate lives. Totoy Bernice lives in an affluent mansion and is the owner of successful fashion apparel, Ponytale. He vows to get richer and eventually take his revenge from his father’s (Epi Quizon) other family for abandoning them and pushing her mother (Gloria Diaz) in the stairs which made her a paraplegic. Detty, on the otherhand, has barely enough income to keep her two daughters (Kathryn Bernardo and Xyriel Manabat) from stopping school. After the small custom apparel shop she’s working in closed, Detty soon finds herself applying as Totoy Bernice’s executive assistant. She eventually gets the position and does everything to impress the coldhearted Bernice. Amid all the hardwork and the eventual small victories Detty achieved, Bernice barely thanked her. Their adventures and misfortunes were made much ~worse (if it really did) by Roselle I-forgot-her-surname (Kris Aquino), owner of Ponytale’s rival fashion apparel company. A series of other events marked by an exchange of lines full of pun and references to each character’s personal lives, campy fights and several product endorsements complete the other half of the film.

Ai Ai Delas Alas is Detty in Sisteraka. Photo from angsawariko.com.
The decision to put Star Cinema’s box-office giants in one comedic movie was both good and bad. For one, it would definitely rake in a huge amount of profit from ticket sales. This was proven in Vice Ganda’s previous movies Petrang Kabayo and Praybeyt Benjamin, with Delas Alas’ successful Tanging Ina franchise in the past MMFFs as well as with Aquino’s horror flicks that had become staples in Pinoy pop culture. The movie’s director, Wenn Deramas, had also been elevated to successful director status mainly because of the profitable franchises he brought to the big screen.

Such accomplishments, however, are put in critical light because most of these movies lack substance, quality and class. The same sharp criticism was thrown at their recent offering—Sisteraka. As said, the movie’s plot was predictable—we’ll know that the characters would fight but would end up happily together in the end. Moreover, the characters portrayed by each actor were never new.

Vice Ganda is always the bad-gay-turned-good the same with his characters in Petrang Kabayo and Praybeyt Benjamin. He has his moments—the scene in his house with Wilma Doesnt where they were served coffee by an old maid in a red dress was golden as well as his wheelchair banter with his godson, Angelo (Daniel Padilla). The rest were either recycled or plain corny.

Aquino’s character would have been ala- Meryl Streep in The Devil Wears Prada or Glenn Close in 101 Dalmatians, if only she did good with it. She was awkward most of the time and the lines she delivered came out cheap-sounding because most of it were uncannily referenced to her personal life.

Delas Alas, on the other hand, gained a better footing compared to her co-stars. She fairly moved her audience to laugh with her adventures and sympathize with her misfortunes. But then again, we realize, it was the same character we saw a few years back—she was still Ina Montecillo of Tanging Ina only this time, she has two daughters compared to a dozen before.

Aside from the recycled characterizations and Aquino being deadweight, I felt the fashion industry backdrop was not given enough justice. Throughout the movie, we’ve never seen even an inch of the glimmer and color that highlight this glamorous industry. Instead, we’re treated to a pseudo-avant garde fashion sense almost similar to the eccentric choices made by eventologist Tessa Prieto-Valdes. I guess the overly-dressed characters were done in an attempt to add comical value to the plot but because it failed, it brought another low blow to the film.

As soon as I stepped out of the theater, the temporary laughs brought by the film subsided and I was left thinking what the movie’s added value was. I wracked my brains but ended up nothing. It wasn’t as trashy as it seemed, but the film’s lack of quality and wit proved a few things: (1) we’ll get bobo when we continue to patronize films that are founded on derogatory jokes, puns about showbiz lifestyle, and a flimsy plot; (2) film outfits would continue to produce films as such if the audience still line up every Christmas Day just to catch them; and (3) it’s a chicken-and-egg dilemma.

The extra cups of rice I had at Mang Inasal that evening filled my empty tummy. I hope the same fulfillment would be given by our local cinema in the coming years. And yes, it's a shame to admit that I watched it for the second time because friends asked me to accompany them. :( 

2 out of 5 stars.

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2 Comments:

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