Movie Review: Sayo Lamang

I was really eager to watch Sayo Lamang because of two reasons. First, I so loved Tanging Yaman which is fast becoming a classic and top rated Filipino film. I can watch it over and over again. Second, because Sayo Lamang is directed by Laurice Guillien, the same woman who directed Tanging Yaman. I wanted to find out if Laurice Guillien could once again concoct a world class movie worthy of international applause.

But sad to say, SAYO LAMANG is one big flop!

I watched it on the third day of release. It was a Friday and I expected the cinema will be brimming with people pushing each other to get good seats. But no, the cinema was not even half-filled. I immediately sensed that I will enjoy my popcorn more than the movie. Here are the reasons why I think this movie flopped.

1. It was so commercialized. They invited all the mainstream actors of this generation to lure moviegoers. But sad to say, only a handful of them can really act. Sayo Lamang does not have the legendary Johnny Delgado who delivered a very powerful performance in Tanging Yaman. Sayo Lamang also did not have Gloria Romero, Cherry Pie Picache and Edu Manzano.

Aside from this, since they invited so many stars to be part of this film, each had to be given their own little story (a subplot if you want), thus be given a moment to be shot up close with mouth quivering, waiting for tears to fall. I can almost imagine the director raring to shout “Cut!” once those tears have been actually released! This brings me to #2.

2. A drama movie does not have to have a crying scene in every segment! It was simply too much! Each scene had to end with a close up shot of a character with tears falling from his or her cheeks. Why did they have to do that? It is an insult to drama actors who are measured only for their ability to feign crying.

3. They should have worked on the story instead. As it turned out, the story was too shallow and predictable, not to mention that the segments were so fragmented. It felt like jumping from one random scene to the next. Then the editor stitched it all together to make one lousy film. My personal life story is better without even trying.

4. None of the characters was developed. Take for example the role of Miles Ocampo as the youngest among the siblings. What was her purpose in the story really? She just kept on crying scene after scene while watching her siblings and father fight. But if you take her character out, the movie will still stand. It only goes to show that she played no important role crucial to the development of the story.

5. More than halfway through the movie, I was forced to ask my companion already why it was entitled Sayo Lamang. And then just before he could answer me, the song was blurted out on screen. It was the segment wherein the siblings were gathered around the deathbed of Lorna Tolentino. Was that the only reason? If I am missing out on something, kindly post a comment. But for me, the title itself was a flop.

This is sad. Star Cinema has all the means to produce quality Filipino films that could rival Hollywood. However, it chose to feed us with a lackluster movie with an off tangent title. I’m guessing that the indie film Two Funerals will be much better.
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