Tuesday, March 03, 2015

[Movies] Rome and Juliet (2006) Review

[No Copyright Infringement Intended]

Love is mysterious and we will never going to predict when will it would strike us and who one lucky person who with make us fall, one person whom our souls were in perfect conjugation with. In this country of conservative values and religious culture, are we Filipinos now ready to revolutionize the modern societal point of view of the kind of love between same gender persons who are struggling just to be accepted and love freely without contempt?

Released as an independent film under Cinema One Originals, written and directed by Connie Macatuno, this motion picture have all the sincerity to touch, teach and reach our hearts by a love story between two women with different lifestyle and environment; how they faced the consequences that nearly crashed some important aspects of their live and the people around them. To accept it or not, our country is still not in wide open hands to embrace these kind of relationships mainly because of our deep religious influences throughout the centuries. This is reality and as it happens, same sex love may be viewed by some as queer but its presence in our modern world should not be disrespected nor be condemned. This film is a brave effort to show us Filipinos that these situations exist not just in other countries but in our own. There has been a thirst for the Pinoy LGBT community for this expression through the arts and media to make us understand how they feel and their struggles being a part of it.


Rome and Juliet exchanging cozy talks.

For the two main characters, we see the two women in opposite dimensions of the universe. They found a soulful connection they have never experienced with anyone before resulting in mixed emotions of falling in love and identity crisis. Juliet (Andrea del Rosario) is a simple and sweet gal who is in a relationship with Marc (Rafael Rosell), a domineering, respectable but loving man who proposed marriage in the midst of crisis undergoing in her family. Her longing for that feeling of security praying to find her soulmate, the one she would be spending her life forever. After his marriage proposal, she then thought it was really him that she prayed for. As the story progresses, conflicts started to arise in their relationship like their difference of social class and her inhibitions about his dominance regarding her hairstyle preferences and choices of not having a child for the mean time. Every time Juliet reads her diary is like cradling the viewer’s soul. Hearing those words is like a song taking us into the deepest part of her heart. Great script!


The first time Juliet read a poem from her diary.

On the other hand, Rome is a liberated soul, an entrepreneur who lives in sophistication, brave independent principles and physical pleasures. Behind those sturdiness hides a lonely and broken heart as from surviving a heartbreak involving her ex-fiancée. The world changed when they met. Someone referred Rome to be Juliet’s wedding planner and as the two ladies became friends, they soon developed a kind of deep connection that gave them comfort and happiness whenever they were in the company of each other.


When Juliet became jealous of Rome's ex-fiancee.

If you guys were an avid lesbian movies enthusiast, you will notice that there was a huge resemblance to the movies “Imagine Me and You (2005)” and “I can’t think Straight (2008)”. I wonder what is with bride-to-be-Women that lesbian films were focused on those scenarios. In my point of view, these kind of situations requires important choices by choosing if you will stand up for what you really are or just keep quiet and go with the flow of what people view as normal and accepted, to fight for things or someone that you know would make your life complete and happy overcoming those clashing anxieties and emotional turmoil to be free.

One of the important parts of the movie was that love scene. It happened on the night that they were both vulnerable; there was intense passion as they kissed and touched each other. Could it happen in real life? I say yes. After that night, situations and the people around them went into chaos. The church scene where they talked and confessed what they feel for each other really touched the empathy in me, melancholic yet romantic. Juliet stated choosing to marry Marc because it was the acceptable in the eyes of people although Rome was telling her of wanting to spend life with her. That talk never really ended it all. Now sure of what she feels and a desire to win Juliet, Rome made an effort to stand in front of others and expresses her love for her by an endearing speech, they kissed. When Marc caught them in an intimate scenario in Rome’s place, things got harder for Juliet and she still told him that she wants to marry him.

To avoid so many spoilers, let us just continue with the review. The ending is good and for me it did not disappoint and was fully justified, though you have to watch the ending credits too because there is a scene found in the middle (the most important one). The production and the creative team should be really commended for pursuing this project. The two actresses really nailed it. Mylene exhibited so much sensuality in her scenes from the way she smiled to that scene where she was in the poetry session reciting her love while Andrea, setting aside her sexy image as an actress portrayed Juliet with justice and her simple plainness of her visage in the film added more appeal especially whenever she reads the poems and the endearing script with the capability to reach the viewers’ heart and soul. No wonder why they earned awards and nominations.

Also, I have seen a lot of symbolism that made this indie flick so sensible. From Juliet’s diary, symbolic of her deep thoughts, desires and emotional struggles, her deep soul searching of what she really wants to find. Second are the flowers. In one of the first scenes, Rome said that those could make a woman smile the reason it could evoke emotions, to heal and to feel love. We would also see a lot of flowers in some scenes like that moment Marc proposed giving them together with a ring. Third is Juliet’s hair, her fiancée’s dominance was shown whenever he commands her to tie it while deep inside it was against her will. The beaded bracelet symbolizes of Juliet’s growing love.

This film was shown nine years ago and I don’t mind how late it is to give a movie review now. Overall, the movie is great in all its elements. As one of the breakthrough lesbian films in the Philippines, I recommend this to the LGBT community and to those straight people who want to understand this kind of love, the people who by chance have this situation to face and be accepted as same human beings who have the right to feel and express love the way they want to. -faf

MAIN CAST:

Mylene Dizon as Rome
Andrea Del Rosario as Juliet
Rafael Rosell as Marc
Tessie Tomas as Charo
Glydel Mercado as Lia

DIRECTOR: Connie Macatuno

WRITERS: Connie Macatuno, Chris Violago

PRODUCED UNDER: Cinema One Originals

NOTABLE AWARDS:

[Winner] Best Actress: Mylene Dizon (Cinema One Originals Film Festival 2006)

[Winner] Best Production Design (Cinema One Originals Film Festival 2006)

[WINNER] Best Screenplay (Gawad Urian Awards 2007)

[WINNER] Best Supporting Actor: Rafael Rosell (Gawad Urian Awards 2007)

MY RATING: 4/5



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