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.
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
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 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.
|Ai Ai Delas Alas is Detty in Sisteraka. Photo from angsawariko.com.|
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
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
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.
Labels: 2013, local movie industry, MMFF 2012, movie review, sisteraka