May 30, 2007

Milan - A Most Annoying Movie

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Filipino Movie Review

Milan F
I just wasted 90 minutes of my precious time watching this really really really annoying Tagalog movie. This is one of the reasons I rarely watched Filipino movies in the Philippines. Recently, I started watching tagalog/Filipino movies and liked some of them, even the corny but entertaining Enteng Kabisote and Crying Ladies, if you can believe it. The Debut and Pinoy Blonde are very good, I highly recommend them.
Somebody in my house put Milan in our Netflix list and I was also interested because I had a cousin who was murdered a little over a year ago by a fellow Filipino in Italy. He was an Italian citizen, had lived in Italy for over 12 years. He was killed because the other guy was jealous of the success of his business, which was recruiting Filipinos to work as domestic helpers, etc. in that country.

The cheesy opening music was a bad sign that this movie will suck, but I was determined to watch it and give it a chance to prove me wrong about Filipino movies. I did not know IT WAS HOPELESSLY BAD! The movie opened with a shrill nagging voice of a woman, who turned out to be the daughter of Nora Aunor, and the whole movie seemed to have lots of shrill women... AND men. The main character, Lino went to Milan to look for his wife, he did not have her telephone number or address, it never occured to him she did not want to be found, dumb. Lino was so wimpy, kept harassing Filipinos outside subways and on the streets and refused to understand the word NO, that I wanted to hit him upside the head during the entire movie. Near the end of the film the pretty wife turned up with an unbelievably ugly baby, he finally learned what happened to her and he went outside, started hitting the wall while crying (he's always crying) and kept saying "I am not stupid, I am not an idiot", I kept answering the TV hoping he'll hear me "yes, you are too", like a child in a playground, I can't help it because he IS STUPID, AN IDIOT, AN IMBECILE.... Stupid acting, stupid directing and stupid dialog, arrgh! The movie tried to show THE HARDSHIPS OFWs have to endure working abroad, but I remained unsympathetic, I'm sorry to say, but they are there illegally and they chose to work there as domestic helpers, duh! Watch this movie only if you are a masochist.;D


Anonymous said...

yes they are illegal, yes they chose to live and work overseas, but it shows how difficult Pilipinos must work because their home country cannot support them. OFWs are hard worker, rather than putting them at fault and accusing them of being illegal, we should praise their hard efforts and recognize their selflessness and industrious attitudes.

Oggi said...

anonymous, did you read the post in its entirety?

This post is MY review of the MOVIE MILAN. I repeat MOVIE. Criticizing bad acting and bad script IS NOT FINDING FAULT with real life OFWs. Blame the writer and director for producing a lousy movie with unsympathetic characters I have a hard time relating with.

raissa said...

I love Piolo Pascual but I didnt like this movie too. A lot of people count this as one of their faves, not me though. The best Piolo Pascual film is still "Till There Was You"

Oggi said...

Raissa, I didn't realize the dreamy hunk in LOBO is the same Milan actor. I thought he looked familiar, so I googled him and found out we have something in common, heheh, his son and my son are both named Iñigo.:)

raissa said...

LOL yeah its the same actor. LOL dreamy hunk. He is a hunk alright. He looks better as he ages LOL. You should watch his movie titled "Til There Was You" he is so dreamy there too. Thats my favorite movie of his. But here in LOBO, dang, the arms, the abs *sigh* the face, fans say and I agree that Noah is the most romantic leading man.

Oh I love the name IƱigo and also Enzo. When I start writing a short story again I will use those names.

Jon said...

You said it was a review of the movie. However, you did say this - "I'm sorry to say, but they are there illegally and they chose to work there as domestic helpers, duh!" I don't know who you are or where you are but you need to get off your high horse. I just hope you don't find yourself climbing some mountain in Switzerland one day. Because quite frankly, your attitude deserves it.

Jon said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jon said...

You know what, I actually find you reprehensible that I hope one day you will be chased by some big dogs (not even to mention the police) somewhere crossing some border. I don't post responses or messages at all but I just find you repulsive. I'm not an illegal alien nor I crossed some border illegally but I'm sympathetic to fact that some people have to and I didn't. YOU GOT ME ALL EXCITED!

Anonymous said...

I just had to post here after OGGI told me how some people had reacted. Please don't confuse reality with a movie. I have worked overseas, and have worked with other overseas Filipino workers, and have also worked with overseas Filipino workers organizations (domestic helpers association among them) when we raised money benefitting a cause and presented a show with the Reycards. You Mr. Jon are yourself on a high horse without knowing what you are talking about. Firstly, read the review again, OGGI said that a relative who worked in Italy was killed by a fellow Filipino. That to me is a more engaging plot line than what was presented in the movie, and I will explain later. Second there is nothing in this blog that demeans or insults other Filipinos other than your wish that another human being come to a bad end.
Now to my point about the plot line. The wife is presented by the script and the director as an unsympathetic character, the impression given is karma, gaba or merece. She did something wrong, so something terrible happened to her. It was presented as smuggle yourself across the border with some corrupt Arab, and you will get raped. That is not an engaging device (even though it has happened in real life)and has the opposite effect. The viewer sees the wife as someone undeserving of our emotional connection just pity, on the other hand this elevates the viewer's empathy for the main character: kawawa naman siya, hindi niya alam, etc. even if he is such a silly ignorant fellow. There are other indicators of falseness in the film like the supposed interviews with workers (actually actors). Their lines are false, complaining about the work. In truth, if you are a construction worker in Saudi Arabia or in the Philippines you will dig holes. You might complain about the weather but never about digging holes. If you even live in an apartment or home, you will clean your toilet. The domestic worker does it for pay, as do all the janitorial companies in the Philippines who keep the offices clean while the white collar workers are fast asleep. Believe me, that is not how a real overseas worker would speak about what they do. They know they are doing well comparatively, they have pride in what they do for a living and have some funny or sad story to tell. In truth the hardship is not the physical labor or dirty job, it is not even learning a new language. The hardship of the overseas worker is being away from the family, being away from loved ones, not knowing what is going on, not being beside your wife when your baby girl is born, questioning oneself every day whether what she or he did is right. The self doubt, the emotional struggle is what is hard about that life. On the other hand, all that this movie does is to highlight some character flaws and asks us somehow to accept them: main character is an idiot who recklessly let his wife go abroad without knowing even a single address or telephone number. Now come on, how often does that happen? Every single overseas worker (legal or not) leaves a contact, knows some local people, etc. On the other hand all we are shown is that the little wimpy boy stays at home.
My gulay, man you could have gone abroad yourself and gotten a job! So to me, lousy character development, bad script, terrible directorial devices. Instead of presenting a bad plan gone wrong, it might have presented a more sympathetic story line if the character had done everything right, but then still had something done wrong to him. That is the time-tested cinematic device (cliched) found all over movies and TV. Had the wife gone as a legal worker, been wronged by her employer (as happens in real life), got trapped in a whorehouse (happens in real life too), there would have been more meat for rising tension, romantic interludes with a sympathetic policewoman, and finally revenge/acceptance/new life/redemption for the hero.
How about presenting something like what happened to OGGI's relative? He did everything right, broke no laws, went to church every Sunday, learned the new language, worked hard manually, used his skills and knowledge to raise himself and his family up, and what does he get? Murdered by an envious person (an overseas worker totally undeserving of our sympathy). That would be a nice dramatic movie with a sad ending just like many other movies. But for me would be more engaging than the very brittle story presented by Milan the movie.
Oh well, it's JUST A MOVIE!

Disagree with the review, but realize this is not a political blog, nor a treatise on what's wrong with the Philippine economy that we have to send our citizens abroad to make a living. It is not an insult to anyone, nor professes admiration for anyone. It's just a movie review stupid!

Oggi said...

Jon Jon Jon, my honest REVIEW OF THE MOST STUPID MOVIE EVER MADE SINCE THE FIRST SILENT MOVIE CAME OUT did not just get you excited, it had your knickers in a twist. I wasn't going to respond to your tirade WISHING I WILL BE MAULED BY BIG DOGS, yes the comment that you deleted is in my files FOREVER, if I may add. But I had second thoughts and decided why not.


1. Go back and read the second paragraph. I clearly stated that I HAVE A COUSIN MURDERED BY HIS OWN COLLEAGUE in Milan a few weeks before I watched the movie, hence the interest in watching it. My cousin has a legitimate recruitment business most probably to avoid unscrupulous individuals taking advantage of OFW (real ones, not MOVIE OFWs, just making it clear because you can't seem to differentiate the two).

2. In the movie a worker being faux-interviewed was "playfully" complaining of having to scrub his masters' toilets and how hard and demeaning it is for him. But didn't he commit an illegal act by sneaking into Italy to do precisely just that? Those clips were unncecessary and should not have been included in the film because they are condescending to the viewing public. WE KNOW WHY THEY ARE THERE: TO CLEAN TOILETS!!! DUH! DUH! DUH! There is no need to elicit sympathy from Filipinos.

3. I have no sympathy for the wife. She chose the illegal way to go to Italy when thousands of (real) OFWs go through all the LEGAL MEANS, money, and hardship to be able to work abroad. And that is why I didn't like this movie at all. The writer and director appear to be promoting illegal activities rather than going through the government sponsored recruiting agency. (I'm still talking about the movie, just reminding you). No she doesn't get my sympathy. The wife was written so badly in the movie but then everybody was written unsympathetically including the enterprising girl. Nah I still rate the move a big fat F.


5. I actually 'climbed' one of Switzerland's alps on a tram. It is beautiful up there and 'climbing' down in a cable car is icing on the cake with the sweeping view of the country side and cows grazing on the meadows. As for Italy, yeah, I've visited Rome, Florence, and Vatican City on a bus in the middle of the day as a tourist. So your dream of me sneaking into a country illegally, not gonna happen. I'm an law abiding US citizen and there won't be a need for me to do an illegal act.

Anonymous said...

sorry to tell you blogger.. this is one of my fave films.. what a tear-jerking movie.. u just can't relate to the story..

Anonymous said...

Sorry for entering the discussion too late. I just have to say that this is one of those movies that are just devoid of good narratives with a plot so demeaningly naive and insensitive. So what if this piece of crap entertains you it doesn't remove the fact that this film portrays OFWs very offensively and presents a very serious issue so simplistically. I agree wholeheartedly with the blogger on this one and aren't you just hypocritical that you can easily empathise with the fictitious victims and yet can't say a kind word to someone whose real loved one is gone by such a senseless tragedy? Oh and that guy Jon should stfu because he's the reason our nation can't redeem itself from the mess it's in. The guy deserves some good lashing for his stupidity and insolence. Done.

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