REVIEW: Liway may nab the major citations

Come the darkest and tumultuous years of the Philippines, when the country and its citizenry are subjected by the evil dictator’s Martial Law.

A woman of integrity, patriotism and nationalism rise up in the forefront of struggling and challenging times.

The movie is based on a true story of a wife, a mother and a rebel; incidentally, is produced, co-written and directed by one of the children involved, Kip Oebanda.

Born and raised in the prison hall as his parents are captured rebels, the boy Oebanda awakens to the cloistered and sheltered reality within the four-walled world.

The story opens and closes on a sundry of scenes that reveal the vital information in the life and love of a woman called “Day” by her prison mates.

Encapsulated among the series of essays are Day’s struggles and challenges, pain and sorrow, patriotism and nationalism, and if there are any joy and hope left, they are a few and far in between.

But a woman’s mind and heart possess an unfathomable quality and impregnable character. And this woman, who is endeared as Commander Liway among the rebels, is no exception.

As to what cause or incident makes this seemingly ordinary woman becomes Commander Liway however, no effort to reiterate such important detail has been made.

The lack of bloody battle between the rebels and the military has compensated to the psychological war – tiresome uncertainties, boundless waiting, imposed abandonment, constant threats to their lives – experienced by the political detainees, who refuse to be called “criminals,” apparently enough to agonize and to torture.
The ensemble of Dominic Roco as Commander Toto and the husband, KenKen Nuyad as the young Dakip, as well as the kindhearted character of Soliman Cruz contrasting with the wicked warden serves as thespian beacons.

An apparent convincing portrayal with full credits belongs to Glaiza de Castro, whose wide-eyed expression mirrors not naivete and innocence; instead, anguish, pain, frustration, and even fear.

But in those dark expressions, de Castro reflects – through those cat’s eyes – a glimpse of hope as well as a glint of triumph.

The film’s narration and direction may have some fractured moments even fragments of incredulity; however, its affectivity instills significance and is timely still. Lucid and clear, Liway delivers its messages across with aplomb.

Not surprising, Liway may nab the major citations, including the Best Actress Award, come the last day for the Awards Night.

There are more great movies yet time is running out at the 14th CineMalaya. Go watch now.

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