After being derailed in 1995 by the infamous filmfest scam, the Manila Film Festival is back on track, with this year’s edition covering all genres from comedy to heavy drama to hard action.

Six films were chosen from among 43 scripts submitted to the filmfest screening committee headed by City Secretary Lito Banayo. The films are: Diskarte (Boy Vinarao), I Think I’m in Love (Maryo J. Delos Reyes), Magkapatid (Joel Lamangan), Útang ni Tatang (Jon Red), Mama San (Joey Romero), and Super B (Joyce Bernal).

Of the six, Magkapatid, topbilled by Sharon Cuneta and Judy Ann Santos, and Super B starring Ruffa Mae Quinto, are doing well in the box-office.

“Magkapatid” shows how the perfect relationship of two sisters is wrecked by a tragedy in the family. Cita Reyes (Cuneta), a successful doctor with a loving husband, is a type of mother who will die or kill for her only son.

Her sister Lisa (Santos) lives a smooth-sailing life with her two sons and drummer-husband, but she is totally dependent on her sister.

In a family outing, Cita entrusts her son to Lisa to attend to an emergency call from the hospital. The merrymaking turns into a tragedy when both Cita’s and Lisa’s sons drown in the lake while boating.

Cita succumbs to grief and depression and blames Lisa for the accident. The story explores the cruelty of a pained heart and the healing power of acceptance and forgiveness.

Cuneta and Santos show chemistry that results in remarkable performances. The intense portrayal of their roles will make the audience cry from start to finish.

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Indolence

Christopher de Leon and Dingdong Dantes, the husbands of Cuneta and Santos in the film, are not far behind in terms of acting. They give justice to their supporting roles and stand out in their few scenes.

The impressive scenes and smooth, logical flow of events outweigh the predictability of the story.

Super B on the other hand gives comic relief to viewers who shed tears in Magkapatid.

Bi (Quinto) is an ordinary vendor who dreams of a comfortable life with her dream man, the handsome reporter Edgar (Troy Montero). Lordino (Marvin Agustin), her avid suitor with big wavy hair, questionable fashion sense and an unflattering soft high-pitched voice, gives her an enchanted ring as he asks for her hand in marriage.

Bi accepts the ring but still dumps Lordino. The ring transforms her into a sexy and funny Super B who possesses heroic qualities and superpowers to fight criminals.

Her greatest opponents are the equally powerful Flower Pot Girls, a girl band composed of Rose (Mylene Dizon) and Daisy (Melanie Marquez). Rose and Daisy hypnotize children and turn them into wicked fanatics. In the end, of course, the good prevails.

Quinto speaks in her trademark lousy voice and senseless lines. She performs her funny acrobatic moves, too. Agustin is Quinto’s perfect leading man who is just as effortlessly amusing as she is.

Moreover, Marquez and Dizon steal the scene with their outrageous make-up and costumes and entertaining music videos. They have many unexpected scenes in the movie like their Spice Girls-like song and dance numbers.

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Smorgasbord of songs and styles

The film festival runs from June 12 to 24 as part of the celebration of the Araw ng Maynila. Myra Jennifer D. Jaud

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