Friday, October 10, 2014

Dementia (Percival Intalan, 2014)

Mara (Nora Aunor) is suffering from dementia. Her caring cousin Elaine (Bing Loyzaga) convinces her to return to their home province of Batanes. Maybe the months-long vacation will help in bringing back memories. It seems to be a good suggestion as we see Mara guiding her kin to her home. There's no hesitation at all with the route she takes. The pathways are as familiar to her as an old glove or first love.

From the outside, the stone house seems to be small. But, it is surprisingly humongous and well-kept. Roaming through the house, Mara stirs up her worst memories. The restless ghost of the past torments her. That's the problem with reliving memories, some ought to be forgotten forever.

The audience experiences the horrors of Mara's imagination. From the boat ride up to the cliff side scene, it had been a dark journey into the deep recesses of Mara's mind. The cinematography brightens up a few notches after the Mulholland Drive-tinged plot ends with a freefall dive. The muted colors clear up as the plot's final jigsaw puzzle piece is unveiled.

I will remember Dementia not for the plot twist but for the wondrous performances of Bing Loyzaga and Jasmine Curtis-Smith. Nora Aunor gives her usual stellar performance but her younger co-stars exceed themselves. I especially remember the look of annoyance on the face of Rachel (Jasmine Curtis-Smith) as she hops on to the tricycle of a distant male kin.

Bing Loyzaga is so good as the cousin of Mara. She doesn't need to raise her eyebrows or raise her voice to be noticed. She just fits to a tee her role of an altruistic kin. There's something simple with her actions that make her so effective. I also loved her in another horror film, Celso Ad Castillo's Bahay Ng Lagim. Now, that house is something I will return to in a flash.

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