Verdict: Value for Money

Pinoy Rebyu Score: 3.36 (18  ratings)

Genre: Drama

Director: Eduardo Roy, Jr.

Writers: Eduardo Roy, Jr., Jerome Zamora

Cast: Diana Zubiri, Yul Servo, Sue Prado, Mailes Kanapi, Pewee O Hara

Synopsis: Sarah is a nurse at a Public Maternity Hospital. The hospital is abuzz with pregnant mothers of all shapes and sizes in different stages of labor. The hospital is short on staff on Christmas Day so Sarah is forced to put in a double shift.  Sarah observes the women coming and going in her ward, noting who is a first-timer and who is a veteran. Meanwhile, the wards are overcrowded : two women and their babies sharing single beds while those in labor are spilling unto the hallways. Sarah takes these all in stride, her heart and mind laboring over her own personal pains. (From Cinemalaya website)

Trailer: 

Reviews:

5.0       Tessa Maria Guazon (YCC Film Desk)

Bahay Bata couches the hard truth within a story of frailty and weakness, leaving out the moralizing yet urging us to reflect where falsity truly springs from.” (Read full review)

4.5        Oggs Cruz (Twitch)

Bahay Bata is wonderfully subtle, a description that is rarely used for films that have poverty as a constant and continuous backdrop. While it starts seemingly exploitative of the appalling scenario that the dozens of mothers have to face, it evolves into something extremely close to sublime, a film that can be both agitating and touching, numbing and heartfelt.” (Read full review)

4.5        Libay Cantor (Leaflens Takilya)

“And this is why I love this film: the visuals speak for the messages the film tries to subtly convey. No unnecessary histrionics emanating from “over-workshopped acting actors” or didactic expository dialogues.” (Read full review)

4.5        Pinoy Movie Reviews

“Even though it was slow in the beginning and in the end, I felt I had gone on an informative video tour of a hospital in a busy metropolis and at the same time was entertained by the interactions between the mothers and staff (both real and scripted) in the midst of the hustle and bustle of a busy maternity ward.” (Read full review)

4.0        Noli Manaig (Closely Watched Frames)

“The strong documentary feel permeates the proceedings with the kind of immediacy found in the direct-cinema of Frederick Wiseman. But rather than dwelling on dire institutional disorder and disrepair, Bahay Bata has a more ambitious and sprawling focus.” (Read full review)

4.0        Ria Limjap (Spot.ph)

“The film takes a heartfelt but unsentimental look at the very real and immediate population issue of the Philippines, where half the pregnancies every year are unplanned.” (Read full review)

3.5        Philbert Dy (Click the City)

“It sounds like dreary stuff, but the film handles everything with both sympathy and a dark sense of humor. It’s all a little light on plot, but the scenes depicted in the film are all pretty compelling.” (Read full review)

3.5        Nel Costales (Sine Patrol)

“Just like Amok’s Law Fajardo, the director overcame the odds despite working in a place teeming with people. His film had an almost documentary feel to it. Vivid, realistic details such as the childbirth and the 1:6 bed-patient ratio give the film heft and panache. The Christmas setting adds poignancy to the drama.” (Read full review)

2.5        Manuel Pangaruy (IndioCine)

“Ang issue ko ay ang contradiction sa pagiging ultra realistic ng ilang eksena at sa pagiging peke ng pagpapaarte sa iba. Sobrang extreme para sa akin. Nariyang diretsahang kinukunan ng camera ang pagpapaanak samantalang ang ilan naman ay parang hinalukay sa soap opera (sampalan, hindi pulidong sequence kamukha ng pagbisita ng isang doktor na tila nakalimutan pa yata ang linya, atbp.).” (Read full review)

1.5        Mario Bautista (Showbiz Portal)

“What this movie prominently features is what we call the Lakad School of Acting so very common in indie films where characters are shown walking endlessly through alleys and corridors while the shaky camera follows them.” (Read full review)

1.5        Carl Papa (Whatever, Carl)

“My main problem with the movie was that it dragged, especially in the middle towards the end.  That was when I feel that the movie had already almost exhausted the conflicts that could possibly happen in one day.” (Read full review)

Capsules:

4.0        Lyndon Maburaot (Cinephiles)

“A richly detailed experiential take on a maternity ward on Christmas eve.”

4.0        Nico Quejano (Cinephiles)

“Yung first ten minutes niya, parang first 15 minutes ng Saving Private Ryan. Hindi ko kinaya.”

3.5        Adrian Mendizabal (Auditoire)

“Documentary + drama. Okay naman sya. Not bad. :P”

3.0        Eduardo Dayao (Piling Piling Pelikula)

“Some bad acting (the serial breastfeeder Cathy) and dialogue (the peripheral incidental chitchat which rang a bit false) tempered by a thick sense of mood (the cinematography helps even if the music didn’t) and a deference to structure. I wish Ed Roy would’ve made his film languid and even more bereft of a shape, but I’m not sure if such artsy indulgences are “allowed” by Cinemalaya. Everybody blames Diana Zubiri for the film’s failures but they’re wrong. She’s quite good here. At oo, hot pa din. And unbiased props to my friend Sue Prado. Ang husay mo dito,chong! Apir! :D”

3.0        Fidel Medel (Pixelated Popcorn)

“Some of Bahay Bata‘s stories work, some don’t. Overall, more misses than hits.”

2.0        Jay-r Trinidad (Cinephiles)

“ok lang sana siya. pero at the end masasabi mo sa sarili mo na yun lang pala yun? kahit sino pwedeng ganapan nung lead role. may mga kaunting inaccuracies tulad ng ballpen na gamit ni diana zubiri, dapat multi-colored ang ballpen na gamit mo sa isang ospital; yung sabay-sabay na nag-break, imposible din na mangyari yun sa isang ospital, at yung plot point para dun sa doctor at beteranong nurse na imposibleng mangyari sa isang ospital kasi may law against it pala (ayon lahat yan sa gf na nurse).”

2.0        Skilty Labastilla (Young Critics Circle – Film Desk)

“Would have been more effective as a  documentary than as a fictional film. The most interesting scenes in the movie for me are the ones with no professional actors in the frame. Sadly, there are not many of these.”