Santa Niña

Verdict: Value for Money

Pinoy Rebyu Score: 3.63 (19 ratings)

Genre: Drama

Director: Emmanuel Quindo Palo

Writers: Emmanuel Quindo Palo and Liza Magtoto

Cast: Coco Martin, Alessandra de Rossi, Anita Linda, Angel Aquino, Irma Adlawan, Nanding Josef, Lui Manansala, Joe Gruta, Bea Garcia, Dax Alejandro, Rie Batingana

Synopsis: When Paulino Mungcal and his co-worker in a lahar-filled quarry unexpectedly dig up the remains of his 2-year daughter Marikit, they discover that she showed no signs of decay.  Could this be a miracle, and could she — despite death – cure the sick? Inspired by whatever healing power the deceased child may have, Pol asks the church to declare her a saint.  But how, when her resurgence stirs up emotions buried by time, and shores up questions about pure love, guilt, sin and salvation?

Trailer: 

Reviews:

5.0      Eric Cabahug (InterAksyon)

“The virtue of Sta. Niña lies in how it avoids being a potboiler of hot-button issues and how it keeps everything on a human scale. This is, after all and above all, a film about personal regret and redemption.” (Read full review)

5.0      Fred Hawson (Fred Said: Movies)

“Coco Martin is not called the ‘indie prince’ for nothing. This guy can really possess the role he is playing, no matter how strange, with so much passion.” (Read full review)

4.0      Oggs Cruz (ABS-CBN News)

“The biggest triumph of the film is how it clearly portrayed a land and a people wanting of salvation despite the abundance of religion.” (Read full review)

4.0      Philbert Dy (Click the City)

“The film can sag under the weight of its myriad of stories, but its ambition lends every moment a measure of grace.” (Read full review)

4.0      Mara Lanot (Philippine Star)

Sta. Niña shows a life between heaven and hell. As a whole, it is engaging, realistic, riveting, moving and unforgettable.” (Read full review)

4.0      Pia Posadas (Katipunan)

“Simultaneously riveting and socially relevant, Sta. Niña miraculously merges the best of both worlds and engages audiences with a narrative that reflects man’s constant search for forgiveness and compassion.” (Read full review)

4.0      Nicol Latayan (Tit for Tat)

“It is difficult to tackle themes of faith in Filipino movies especially since there’s this one movie called Himala that set the bar too high for others to follow suit. However, Santa Niña does a good job in covering the said theme while adding layers of family drama and secrets of the past in the mix.” (Read full review)

4.0      Arvel Salcedo (Spot Reviews)

“The film showcases a beautiful vintage-feel color scheme that goes well with the somber plot.” (Read full review)

3.5      Skilty Labastilla (Young Critics Circle)

“Unabashedly sentimental but expertly executed. Manny Palo and Liza Magtoto come up with a worthy back story to the Kapampangan crucifixion ritual, meanwhile showcasing Pampanga’s gorgeous lahar-covered landscape and its wood-carving industry.”

3.5       Jude Defensor (We Talk About Movies)

“While the overall narrative may be a bit rambling, the camerawork and cutting in individual scenes are skilfully arresting and taut.” (Read full review)

3.5      Noli Manaig (Closely Watched Frames)

“Basic and common-sense questions about doctrines go begging here. The film has to be watched if only for these seemingly simple-minded but potent questions.” (Read full review)

3.5      Jozza Palaganas (Yahoo Philippines)

“The story, at times, becomes too close to soap opera melodrama with its heavy dialogue over-supplementing the already rich imagery. The faraway stares sometimes linger too long. But it arrives at a gloriously moving third act that seems to justify all the melodrama the viewer sees.” (Read full review)

3.5      Rianne Hill Soriano (Business World)

“This bleak offering effectively examines the country’s general take on faith, sin, miracles, and holiness. It knows how to add layers of family drama and mystery to its religious backbone.” (Read full review)

3.5      Cathy Peña (Make Me Blush)

“Palo’s pace and cinematic mounting seem deliberate and almost elegiac; the emotions on exhibit are most palpable in wistful moments of scrutinizing close ups.” (Read full review)

3.5      Manuel Pangaruy (Tagailog Special)

“Sa totoo lang, nag-enjoy ako sa pelikula sa level na nae-enjoy ko ang isang teleserye o sa kawalan ng tamang salita, mainstream drama.” (Read full review)

3.0      Don Jaucian (Philippine Star)

“Palo is pretty blunt about the things he wants to get across and uses the film to raise the essential questions about our primal desires and retribution.” (Read full review)

2.5      Lyndon Maburaot (Table Stretcher)

“It is brave of Palo to risk Sta. Niña being compared to Bernal’s Himala, because more likely than not, he is bound to pale in comparison.  And rightly so. While there is occasional visual ableness in there, it just doesn’t hold up. Bernal is way, way sophisticated, even for an homage such as this.”

2.5       Carl Joseph Papa (Whatever, Carl)

“I also find the movie, though well made (production is quite grand) and polished (the sound though in the theaters sounds like tin can on dialogues) to be repetitive, and too soap melodramatic at times.” (Read full review)

2.5       Mark Angelo Ching (Pisara)

“Interesting premise, but the direction it took is less than likable. There seems to be a teledrama treatment, complete with many characters, changes of POV, and overbearing music. Story meanders.”

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