Nora Aunor-starrer gets thumbs up from international movie critics
The Filipino advocacy film, Taklub, successfully premiered this week at the 68th Cannes Film Festival in France as part of the Un Certain Regard selection, according to a press statement released by the office of Senator Loren Legarda.
As the film’s director Brillante Mendoza led the all-Filipino entourage in the prestigious international film festival, Legarda said she felt even prouder of this project, which she principally advocated.
Taklub presents the tragedy left behind by Super Typhoon Yolanda in the southern Philippine province of Tacloban. Superstar Nora Aunor is the film’s lead, and plays the role of a mother who loses three of her four children from the natural disaster.
Moreover, the movie has received positive comments from social media and good reviews from noted film critics. Italian reviews from Toute La Culture and Cinematografo gave the film four out of five stars and 4.5 out of five stars, respectively.
The Hollywood Reporter review by Clarence Tsui noted how “by shunning straightforward melodramatic exposition of all the varied tragic back stories, Mendoza and screenwriter Honeylyn Joy Alipio allow their characters to slowly and gently reveal their anguish and pain.”
The same review commended the film’s cinematography and production design, but stressed that it is the “overall controlled performances from the cast – ranging from veterans like (Nora) Aunor and (Julio) Diaz, to younger faces like (Aaron) Rivera and (Shine) Santos – which propels the film.”
Meanwhile, a Variety review by Maggie Lee stressed how the film “is more concerned with emotional devastation than with the physical aftermath [of Typhoon Yolanda]. Shot in a no-frills documentary style that echoes its subjects’ deprivation, the film is at once intimate and detached in its dramatic economy, though the finale will leave many viewers saddened yet humbled.”
David Poland, in his article for Movie City News, stated “Brillante Mendoza’s Taklub is also, really, a holocaust drama. The holocaust here starts with a specific family, but this becomes a symbol of the massive tragedy of tsunamis in the Philippines. Wonderful, understated performance by Nora Aunor. Slow. Painful. Real.”
Legarda said she is happy with the positive reviews and noted that the Debussy Theater was full during the official screening of the film.
“Filipinos should be proud of Taklub because through this film we are able to inspire by showcasing the resilient Filipino spirit and we also impart the important message of building resilience against disasters,” she said, noting that it is the first time an advocacy film was screened in the Un Certain Regard section of Cannes.
Taklub is produced by Mendoza’s Centerstage Productions and the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), in cooperation with the Presidential Communications Operations Office-Philippine Information Agency.