PAGLALAKBAY-PosterVerdict: Essential Viewing

Pinoy Rebyu Score: 4.44 (9 ratings)

Genre: Drama

Writer/Director: Arnel Mardoquio

Cast: Fe Virtudazo-Hyde, Irish Karl Monsanto, Roger Gonzales, Glory Pearl Dy

Synopsis: Faidal (Monsanto) is suddenly orphaned when his parents, Muslim freedom fighters who end up becoming bandits involved in kidnapping for ransom, are killed, leaving him with a knapsack full of dollars and a band of American and local troops trailing him. He ends up with his aunt Amrayda (Virtudazo-Hyde) and Fatima (Dy), who decide to aid the orphan in his escape. They end up in the house of Baba Indu (Gonzales), the family patriarch, who joins them to ensure everybody’s safety in their passage away from their embattled home. (Twitch)

MTRCB Rating: R-13

Trailer: 

Reviews:

5.0          Tito Genova Valiente (Business Mirror)

“Most filmmakers appear to stand outside the frame of what this region has been to us, natives of Luzon and the Visayas. Mardoquio squats and stays long—long enough for us to listen to the humidity of the air, the limits of life in this vital stretch.” (Read full review)

5.0          Karl Gaspar (MindaNews)

“For all the minimalism of Paglalakbay, it paints a complex portrait of the Mindanao landscape. It’s take on Mindanao’s narrative is multi-layered.” (Read full review)

5.0          Philbert Dy (Click the City)

“The film provides no easy answers, no grand statements about the future of Mindanao. It just tells a story of people, and in so doing, it makes the most eloquent plea for peace that I’ve ever seen.” (Read full review)

5.0          Nico Quejano (Cinephiles)

“The futility of escape, whether from the armed conflict or you sexual preferences. But ironically, the movie seems to be evoking hope, more so, towards the end, that even when the characters and even the audience were blanketed by total darkness, Fatima blowing out that fire became their last shot to seeking their own freedom.”

4.5          Nicol Latayan (Tit for Tat)

“More than the postcard worthy cinematography and the wonderful music all throughout, what captivates me about the film is its simplicity.” (Read full review)

4.0          Oggs Cruz (Twitch)

“Mardoquio tells his story with admirable confidence, showing only what needs to be shown, telling only what needs to be told, and trusting subtlety in its pursuit of accomplishing his advocacy.” (Read full review)

4.0          Richard Bolisay (Lilok Pelikula)

“Despite the many chasms it can fall into, Ang Paglalakbay ng Bituin sa Gabing Madilim never gets carried away by its sentiments. The anger and frustration that seep through its story are levelheaded, and its perspectives are grounded on consequences and not on platitudes.” (Read full review)

4.0          Dodo Dayao (Piling Piling Pelikula)

“Not so much minimalist as it is almost graceful in its restraint, it slows the chase film down into a road movie and achieves, in the subtle shifting of tones  from urgency to languor, a dreamlike reverie that poeticizes their own futile yearnings to free themselves from the strictures of both their revolution and their religion.” (Read full review)

3.5          Skilty Labastilla (Young Critics Circle)

Ang Paglalakbay ng mga Bituin sa Gabing Madilim shows evidence of director Arnel Mardoquio’s theater background (some blockings feel a bit too rehearsed and wide shots often look tableau-y) but the story’s originality trumps the film’s technical misgivings.” (Read full review)