Bendor (Ralston Jover, 2013)

Ralston Jover’s initial foray into filmmaking, via Bakal Boys, was so auspicious that I was almost sure from the first half of Bendor that his opacity for this film’s titular character, Blondie, was deliberate and would be purposeful in the end.  Blondie, a grandmother at 55, was first and foremost a mother and wife, then a vendor, selling abortifacient on the fringes of a storied church. Her life as a vendor however was more inviting, the paradox of her kind peddling immorality at a distance from the moral stronghold could be enough to ignite voluminous film materials. But in the film, the amorality of the characters was the given, thus (may be) the reason why it glossed over insights into Blondie’s opinion, stance and personality.

This film’s opaque shutout on morality issues became its barrier against its audience’s full understanding of Blondie. It rather focused on the generic aspects, something pedestrian (anyone who doesn’t know of a mother without problematical children and philandering husband?). The film’s shrewd dedication to follow-up on Blondie’s tracks while raising money for her husband’s medical expenses at the expense of other aspects of her life was not only melodramatic (for a character study) but also misguided. Jover seemed indecisive of what he wanted to convey here that the film ended up bland and generic, a downgrade from his promise in Bakal Boys.

5 stars

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One comment

  1. Pingback: Bendor | Pinoy Rebyu

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