Two Funerals, the most-celebrated film at the recent Cinemalaya Film Festival and the first-ever movie to receive a unanimous A rating from the Cinema Evaluation Board, opened its commercial run on Sept. 8 in the following SM Cinema branches--North Edsa, SM Megamall, SM Mall of Asia, SM Fairview, SM Manila, SM San Lazaro, SM Bacoor, SM Pampanga, SM Cebu, SM Davao.
Hailed by www.spot.ph as “the quintessential Filipino black comedy,” Two Funerals is a quirky road movie whose winning combo of melodrama and satire reaped five major Cinemalaya awards — Special Jury Prize, Best Director, Best Screenplay, Best Cinematography and Audience Choice Award.
It was reviewed by the CEB and all 12 CEB members present (including National Artist for Film Eddie Romero, actor Tommy Abuel, broadcaster June Keithley, and director Joyce Bernal) voted to give it an A rating, which entitles the movie to a 100 percent tax rebate.
Not a few movies have been rated A by the CEB before, but insiders said this was the first time the vote was unanimous.
In Two Funerals, grief and hilarity collide when a funeral parlor in Nueva Ecija accidentally switches the delivery of two bodies during Holy Week at the height of the campaign season for the recent national elections.
Tessie Tomas stars as an outraged mother who undertakes a long journey from her native Tuguegarao, Cagayan to claim her daughter’s body in Matnog, Sorsogon where it was sent by mistake.
She is joined on the two-day cross-Luzon trip by her daughter’s fiancé (Xian Lim) and they are escorted by an effeminate funeral parlor agent (Jeffrey Quizon) in a hearse carrying the stranger’s coffin.
The mother and the fiance’s grief unravels slowly as they observe along the way the various Lenten rituals commemorating the Passion of Jesus Christ, as well as the drama and hijinks of Philippine electoral politics.
Little do they know that in Matnog, no mourning is taking place and it doesn’t matter if the wrong body has been delivered. While the funeral in Tuguegarao is awash in copious tears and heartfelt prayers, the one in Matnog turns into a bacchanal of gambling, singing and dancing.
Two Funerals marks a return to form for veteran filmmaker Gil Portes, who directed the film from an original screenplay by Eric Ramos. It also offers another stellar performance from Tessie, a comedienne who is carving a new niche for herself as an indie actress.
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