Cinemalaya Day 2: Instant Mommy

No picture today because I was a loser and didn’t bring my good camera to take Eugene Domingo’s picture. I was also a chicken and didn’t have the balls to ask Angel Aquino to have a picture taken with her. But I’m getting ahead of myself.

So today, I was scheduled to watch Instant Mommy with a friend. We went there for the 12:45pm showing. It was at the Tanghalang Nicanor Abelardo (the CCP Main Theater) and today was apparently the Gala “Night” for Instant Mommy. The cast and crew were there and so it was quite a special experience. This was actually the second time that I was in the same room as Eugene Domingo. The first time was when we watched Ang Babae sa Septic Tank and it was revealed that she was in the audience with us after the end of the showing. She was as warm and approachable as ever though again, I wasn’t able to take any pictures. Such is my crippling introversion.

Anyway, so what about the movie?

Instant Mommy is directed by Leo Abaya and starring Eugene Domingo, Yuki Matsuzaki and Rico J. Puno. The story is about Bechay, who is a wardrobe mistress involved in the making of TV commercials. She has a Japanese boyfriend with whom she is going to have a baby with. Misfortune strikes, unfortunately, and Bechay miscarries. Now, she has to do something in order to keep her boyfriend’s interest.

It seems like such a typical premise and one so familiar in our society. We’ve heard of Filipino women having foreign boyfriends and going to great lengths to please them.  But this is Cinemalaya so you have to expect that there’s a twist here somewhere. Or twists. I didn’t really know what to expect and I didn’t really bother trying to think of how the story will resolve. I had a nice surprise at the end and it was quite satisfying in a realistic sense. There was shock and hurt for Bechay and I felt for her after everything she did and went through, but still it was a good ending, both for her and the story.

Eugene Domingo was great. She hadn’t lost her spark. She could make you laugh and cry where it was appropriate and it was so easy to sympathize with the character she played. It was also quite cool to see Rico J. Puno acting. I thought he was very convincing as Bechay’s father and it was his way of working with little things about his characterization that made it work.  This movie also really utilized its supporting cast well. Hardly anyone was wasted, though I had to wonder what Earl Ignacio’s character was really for.  And of course I have to give special kudos to Yuki Matsuzaki. He did a great job at his role, especially the effort he put into speaking some Filipino (which was especially hilarious at one point of the film) and it was just really, really awesome how they were able to cast a Hollywood actor to play his role. And he and Eugene had kilig. They were actually quite cute together, with great chemistry, and they worked so well with each other, even when most of their interactions was over Skype video calls in English, Filipino and Japanese.

Instant Mommy is another Cinemalaya gem and I commend Eugene Domingo for another job well done.