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Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Flick Review: Norte Hangganan ng Kasaysayan

9/16/2014 11:02:24 PM

At first I had thought of watching this film by Lav Diaz. Yes, I’m taking about Norte, Hangganan ng Kasaysayan (The End of History), folks.

My curiosity just flew from out of nowhere after reading articles about the film; specifically, a movie review in Fred’s Blog (the post apparently was republished at

Until unexpectedly got a replay on my tweet coming from the movie’s official social media handle. Well, how on earth? I did not even mention their username.

Oh, well... not a bad thing since they are really encouraging some still undecided ones like me take a shot on watching this flick.

And despite missing the first 20 minutes of that 4-hour, 10-minute motion picture (and also, watching that despite nursing colds), Norte is definitely worth your money; and moreover, worth your time.

The flick showcased the lives of two exactly opposite men. One is Fabian Viduya, a very intelligent student who suddenly dropped himself out of the law school; while the other is Joaquin, a typical probinsyano, a victim of all struggles in daily life. Just when he and his wife were about to launch a food business, an accident triggered their miseries like an injured leg. 

Their money lender was murdered; and twist is that the crime was pinned on him, after a confrontation earlier.

On the other end, Fabian, overruled by his fundamentalism, attacked and murdered Magda, avenging injustice. However, he managed to get away despite losing his sanity little by little.

Norte simply showed chunks of reality bites, something I mostly seen in or local independent or high-quality mainstream movies.

One of them, actually: Some crimes aren’t paid accordingly. Look at the roaming Fabian as an example. I know, as time goes by, his conscience bugs him. But forget it. 

Life’s literally a bitch. Those are the words you may uttered once you experience series of miseries while the others got away from it in the process. We're all victims of an unjust and unfair society, and it so happened that there are some who managed to get lucky (not a Daft Punk song) and get away with it.

The sad fact that Joaquin, jailed for murder charges he did not even commit, suffered the fate of a convicted criminal despite showing a natural purity of heart, is a mere example.

Here we saw Soliman Cruz, portraying the prison thug Wakwak, taking a huge turnaround as his condition deteriorates from being a total badass, realizing the good man’s worth.

Mae Paner’s role suited her better. It reminds me of that old paint commercial. (Yes, as far as I recall mataray siya dun)

Eliza is Joaquin’s partner and counterpart in terms of character. The difference is that aside from never put into bars, she carried the responsibility more than her husband does, and never complained from it. If there’s one word to fit in here, it’s martyr. She stood up for her family, despite the hardships, despite that she has to take two roles of being a mother and a businesswoman (she sells vegetables via cart), she was the woman of love (and I am not talking romantic here).

Back to Fabian, honestly speaking, his actions on the murder and rape scene (yes, he raped her sister Hoda) brought the nerves in me. Especially, when he suddenly rushed to Hoda’s (Angelina Kanapi) room and recklessly fucked her afterwards. That’s more disturbing than him killing Magda and her househelp.

That just proved how his disillusions cost his sanity. Damn, he’s a goddamn psychopath out there. Excellent acting.

And if you wonder why Norte lasted 250 minutes in the screen, well, there are scenes where it shows nothing but the typical environment of the scene. Camera rolls for like a minute or two, but seeing it is actually like dealing with mind games. Despite being lengthy these scenes aren’t really boring to notice. There’s always a story showcased inside.

Overall, Diaz’s way of creating the art is very different from the typical independently-produced filsm. It’s more unique, in fact.

And to think that I loved the way films makes me think? Well, I can only give my Kudos to Lav Diaz and his hardworking men and women for an awesome masterpiece.

The verdict: 8.9/10

Author: slickmaster | ©2014 september twenty-eight productions

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