2009 / 105m - Philippines
Kinatay poster


October 08, 2020


A film with some decent ideas, only the execution was incredibly flawed. It's a real skill to turn cheap into quality, but it's not a skill Brillante Mendoza possesses. The thoughts and intentions behind many of the choices here were obvious enough, but for the most part the effect simply wasn't there.

Peping is a young student who wants to earn an extra buck and signs up for a "special project". He gets more than what he's bargained for when he finds out they're kidnapping a prostitute with the intent of killing her. Peping tries to get out of his assignment, but when that seems impossible he has to make a tough choice between his conscience and the money.

The cinematography is terribly amateurish. The dark scenes in the middle somewhat hide that fact, but even then the camera work is simply atrocious. No doubt Mendoza hoped it would create some kind of voyeur effect, but that was a complete bust. The soundtrack comes off a bit overdone in combination with the images. It's not bad, but you can't make atmosphere with just the music alone. Performances are mediocre too and the pacing is sluggish. The potential was there, but the result isn't much to look at.