Netflix Movies – A Metro Manila Story

myertha Blog

Early last year, Netflix announced they would start streaming to an additional 130 countries. This brings the streaming platform to 190 different countries total. Of the countries that Netflix now services, Philippines sparked my interest because I would finally be able to share my Netflix account with friends and family back in my homeland. But the thought occurred – besides the huge amount of American Hollywood movies available, were there any Filipino movies they could enjoy? A quick search using the keyword “Filipino” brought up seven different movies – four of them really being Filipino movies while the other three were something else. One of the available movies is an Independent Crime Drama called “Metro Manila.” While I’m not a big fan of Filipino films, I thought I’d give this movie a try.  It has a 4 ½ out of 5 star rating and the quality looked on par with any multi million-dollar garbage that Hollywood throws out. I was so surprised how great Metro Manila turned out to be!

The Filipino movies I grew up with were the slapstick comedy types made popular by Dolphy, Redford White and Joey De Leon. My mom would usually rent these movies from the local video store and play them on our VCR before I fall asleep on our living room couch. Basically, my last memories of any Filipino movies were pretty low quality with not a lot of story depth. Fast-forward to the future (with the convenience of online streaming) to a movie that instantly glued me to the TV in just a few minutes and kept me holding on to the very last.

Metro Manila explores the familiar story of a family looking for a better life –a means to survive the impoverished reality they endured for so long. This better life took the form of – Metro Manila of course! It’s a city I’ve visited many times before, a bustling area filled with opportunities for a poor family who could no longer rely on a rice-less rice field back in their home province. As much as I cheered and stayed hopeful for this small family (a father, a mother, a young daughter and their little baby) to become financially stable, the movie is unfortunately grounded in realism. Many Filipinos move from their province to Manila for a better life but very few actually have a better life after relocating. Manila is filled with crime, corruption and poverty. It made me realize how I took for granted the luxuries I have and how blessed I am when compared to the story’s main protagonists.

Metro Manila Official US Release Trailer   Source: Movieclips Film Festivals & Indie Films

 

I was happy for them when they found a place to live, then it saddened me because they gave all their money to a scam artist who didn’t own the place. I was happy the father found some work then it saddened me that it didn’t pay anything. The entire movie will constantly warm your heart when something good happens to them then piss you off in the next scene because it was all a lie – everyone is deceitful and corrupted. There’s a scene with a few boys teasing and poking a kitten – just providing more evidence how everyone sucks and they are all bad people. But there’s hope – the father of the story, the pure-hearted, innocent man who is doing everything for his family will never stoop to the dishonesty and evil around him. You will stay optimistic that he is a good man and nothing will ever influence him to be otherwise. But poverty and the love for his family can drive a man desperate.

I don’t want to spoil anything else – but Metro Manila is definitely something worth watching in whatever country you’re in right now. The movie is filled with superb acting and top-notch story telling – Directed by Sean Ellis and staring Jake Macapagal (as Oscar Ramirez, the father) and John Arcilla (as Douglas Ong).

10 out of 10

A Metro Manila Story
myertha Blog

Metro Manila Film Source: Wikipedia

 

myertha Blog

Metro Manila Film Source: Netflix

 

myertha Blog

Metro Manila Film Source: Netflix

 

 

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