Hi everyone ^_^ I just watched Dukot (Kidnap in English) at SM North and it was pleasantly surprising. I didn’t think it would be as heart-pounding and nerve-wracking as it was and I was proven wrong! So here I am gushing about the movie in this quasi-review but do keep in mind that I am no critic, basher, nor fan. Just someone who happened to to watch this certain film because the movie I wanted to watch didn’t match my schedule for that day. This is purely all my opinion so please take it with a grain of salt (and some fries! :D) Without further ado, here we go:
In an industry saturated with romantic comedies, Dukot is a fresh of breath air. It was nice to finally watch a Filipino movie without product placements (hard sell much? makes you think that it’s actually one long commercial disguised as a movie) and hugot lines that sometimes seem like it is trying hard to be classic one liners (I do miss the movies in the 80s and 90s, now those hugot lines where truly classics!). Take heed though, this movie will leave you yawning at some parts as the story builds up to a suspenseful scene and then let’s go leaving you wondering “Why?”. It would have been better if the movie made you keep climbing up and once you’re on top of that mountain, slowly and smoothly let you down. However it was so abrupt that it became a disappointment. Think Jupiter Ascending. There was one scene where Carlo (Enrique Gil’s character) was able to escape and thus ensued a chase scene between him and his captors. Of course, the movie audiences shrieked when it seemed that one of his captor was going to catch up to him, while I hid my eyes hoping he would be able to escape. Naturally though, like with most Philippine shows, he got caught and was beaten to a bloody pulp. Here I am reminded of Mara Clara where Mara is always on the verge of getting his Tiyo Kardo’s diary but something always happens so she doesn’t. It would have been better if Carlo escaped and we are treated to scenes of the captors bluffing their way with his family just to get the money while also trying to locate their victim and recapture him all the while not knowing that they are racing against the police in getting Carlo because he was able to contact his family. I know the Filipino audience loves that building up the momentum thing then nothing (again, Mara Clara). But sometimes, directors and writers need to give us what we need more than what we want. Write what you want and direct the way you truly do. Make a wonderful, fantastic, awe-inspiring, jaw-dropping movie without the formulaic plots and storylines Filipino moviegoers have been bombarded with and they will thank you all the more for it.
Don’t despair though because some parts of the movie will leave you gripping your seat and biting your lower lip. All-in-all, Dukot managed to almost give me a heart attack. One of the things it succeeds at is to make the audience paranoid but in a good way. It makes them become more aware of their surroundings and not to withdraw money from an ATM located on a deserted street at past 1 in the morning. Seriously, what can be so important that you can’t wait until at least 9am?!
Of course, movies rely not just on good acting but also on good writing and directing. It takes a brilliant director to take a seemingly simple screenplay and turn it into a classic or blockbuster, sometimes both. Paul Soriano is a big revelation here. Give him more time and he could very well be the Philippines’ next Lino Brocka or Ishmael Bernal. That’s how good he is. Sure, I’ve heard of his indies but I’ve never watched anything he did until now and honestly, I am looking forward to more of his works.
Meanwhile, Dukot made me painfully wistful for the 80s and 90s (I’m an 80s kid and that decade is one of the best!) action movies with the likes of Jeric Raval (he was one of my big crushes then! haha!), Robin Padilla, FPJ, Raymart Santiago, Rudy Fernandez, and even Ian Veneracion and Romnick Sarmienta (my two biggest crush until now!). This movie proves that the Philippine movie industry will not go silently into the night. It will fight the good fight and with enough support from the government and us Filipinos, maybe we can have our own Hollywood or Bollywood. When that time comes, the only big problem we’ll have is finding a name that has all the pizzaz and flash of the Philippine entertainment industry and that goes well with “-wood” at the end. We already have Encantadia, Mulawin, Probinsyano, Sugo – quality tv shows. It’s time that we also have quality movies and Tiktik: The Aswang Chronicles, Moments of Love and now Dukot has already paved the way for that.