Thy Womb

Thy-Womb-newVerdict: Value for Money

Pinoy Rebyu Score: 4.00 (44 ratings)

Genre: Drama

Director: Brillante Ma Mendoza

Writer: Henry Burgos

Cast: Nora Aunor, Bembol Roco, Mercedes Cabral, Lovi Poe

Synopsis: Shaleha Sarail (Aunor) hails from a water-village in Sitangkai, Tawi-Tawi. The province is a seaweed producing area in the southern most part of the Philippines down to the Malaysian and Indonesian archipelagos. A woman of mature years, experiencing a 3rd miscarriage, Shaleha agonizes that she can’t bear a child. Though an adoptive parent to her nephew, she still feels that her husband Bangas-An (Roco) desires to be a father. To fulfill her husband’s only wish and to be blessed by Allah as having a child is a tangible proof of divine grace, Shaleha decides to march to a different drummer. Her resolve is to find a new partner for her husband. Night and day, she and her husband sail island, floating-village, and nearby communities in search of a fertile woman. Providentially, Shaleha finds the girl as recommended by friends. But on the eve of her husband’s second marriage to Mersila (Poe), a gnawing jealousy consumes Shaleha.

MTRCB Rating: PG-13

Running time: 106 mins



5.0          Tito Genova Valiente (Business Mirror)

“I am thankful enough that Mendoza attempted to celebrate the integrity and candor of the people of Tawi-Tawi, or a portion of the communities there, without making them look like effigies in museums of natural history.” (Read full review)

5.0          Pablo A. Tariman (Yahoo Philippines)

“Scriptwriter Henry Burgos has woven a tale of unselfish love that is unusually quiet and very cerebral.” (Read full review)

5.0          Isah Red (Manila Standard Today)

“Lesser filmmakers may have thrown in subplots to make the film more byzantine in nature, but Mendoza focuses on Shaleha and Bangas-an and how her search is finally decided.” (Read full review)

5.0          Eric T. Cabahug (InterAksyon)

Thy Womb is the kind of movie that doesn’t explain everything and doesn’t spoon-feed anything. Rather than verbalize, it visualizes.” (Read full review)

5.0          Maridol Rañoa-Bismark (Yahoo Philippines)

“Mendoza doesn’t spoon feed by showing how things  turn out to be.  He resorts to  clues — the body language, the one-liners.” (Read full review)

5.0          Don Rapadas (Metanoia)

“While Brillante Mendoza has wielded his unconventional directing style to make this film another masterpiece, Nora Aunor immortalizes on this film her brand of underacting.” (Read full review)

5.0          Millie Morales (milliemorales.blogspot)

Thy Womb presents a hauntingly poignant reflection of human devotion, tradition, desire and joyful exploration of Badjao culture, shot across gorgeous landscapes, with sensitive, yet high-tech cinematography expertise.” (Read full review)


5.0          Macky Macarayan (Death of Traditional Cinema)

“This is an image we don’t see in Filipino movies, because in mainstream exploration of extramarital affairs and love triangles characters talk and talk about nonsense, reducing women as objects and elevating men as some sort of sex god.” (Read full review)

5.0          Filipinas in Showbiz

“Mendoza doesn’t rely on dialogue because he understands that sometimes, (in the word of Jessica Zafra) ‘Words cheapen the moment’.” (Read full review)

5.0          The Guy with a Blog

Thy Womb wasn’t made to fit in. It was meant to stand out. And it does so spectacularly.” (Read full review)

4.5          Tintin Lontoc (Katipunan)

“Taking turns between captivation and tedium from the harrowing birthing scene at the start to the film’s haunting close, Thy Womb is at once powerful but difficult to watch.” (Read full review)

4.5          Allan Diones (Abante Tonite)

“Refreshing na mapanood si Nora na kalmado ang akting at subtle lang ang nuances, pero damang-dama ng audience.” (Read full review)

4.5          Bum-Spot

“While the performances were quietly powerful, the film was a feat itself. It presents a reality so fascinating and so real, you can almost touch it. It depicts a way of life that is as colorful as it is chaotic, simple and unjust.” (Read full review)

4.5          Kikko Kalabud (Hot for Movies)

“Unstinted of symbolisms and unadulterated emotions, Thy Womb is easily one of this year’s most affecting films as it transcends from the small vicinities of Tawi-Tawi to an engaging shrewdness and brilliance.” (Read full review)

4.5          Forg Files

“Aunor and Roco gave restrained but very effective performances. This film has little dialogue in it but thanks to the strength of the actors they don’t need words to show their characters’ inner pain and complex feelings.” (Read full review)

4.0          Oggs Cruz (Twitch)

Thy Womb is observably quainter, tamer, and more mannered than Mendoza’s previous works. However, it still resonates with the same removed yet still potent anger that only an artist who wants to depict truth from a distance can evoke.” (Read full review)

4.0          Jessica Zafra (InterAksyon)

“We’re watching two of the finest actors in Philippine cinema not acting, but being ordinary people, indistinguishable from the population. Everyone onscreen is so natural, the camera may well be invisible.” (Read full review)

4.0         Rianne Hill Soriano (Business World Online)

“This location-inspired and quietly moving piece is beyond a mere travelogue. Although it sometimes basks in overindulgence, there are still instances that leave striking impressions by simply requiring people to stop, wait and observe as the characters travel around remote fishing villages.” (Read full review)

4.0          Jude Cartalaba (Rappler)

“While the plot’s development is a bit dragging, as soon as it hits the high notes with its dramatic parts, it successfully sustains the momentum, keeping the moviegoers glued until the heart-breaking end.” (Read full review)

4.0          Carljoe Javier (Rappler)

“Unlike a lot of filmfest performances that rely on big scenes and bombast, it’s the little things, the gestures and the facial expressions, which Mendoza endeavors to capture, which make the leads’ performances interesting.” (Read full review)

4.0          Zig Marasigan (Kristn)

“While other entries to the Metro Manila Film Festival are accustomed to piling on performances based on tears and soliloquies, Aunor and Roco project their characters with affection and subtlety.” (Read full review)

4.0          Jennifer Dugena and Jocelyn Dimaculangan (PEP)

“In one fell swoop, Mendoza weaves the personal (one’s notion of selfless love, joy, sadness,) with the cultural (how one’s actions, choices, thoughts are dictated by the society one is in) and the national (Tawi-Tawi’s socio-political setting).” (Read full review)

4.0          Edgar Calabia Samar (Atisan)

Thy Womb is a story about patience and waiting, two virtues that are on the verge of extinction in our world of tweets, instagrams, and easy ways out.” (Read full review)

4.0          Rob San Miguel (The Chair)

“Tamang-tama ang pagpili kay Nora Aunor at Bembol Roco bilang mga pangunahing aktor. Bihasa ang dalawa sa pagsisiwalat ng saloobin ng kanilang karakter sa pamamagitan lamang ng tingin o simpleng galaw.  Kung minsan, hindi pa lahat inilalabas.” (Read full review)

4.0          Nicol Latayan (Tit for Tat)

“A raw and poignant journey that leads its viewers not only to the bluest of the seas and the farthest of the islands, but to the lives of Shaleha and Bangas-an. And it is a journey that is definitely worth seeing.” (Read full review)

4.0          Irish Eden Belleza (Tabloid on Saturday)

“More than the co-existence of Muslim and Christian in this otherwise troubled place, Mendoza delivers the message of unconditional love that was perfectly depicted with the film’s ending scene: a rather simple shot of the lead actress’ face, but one that carried a powerful emotion that truly brought the entire film full circle.” (Read full review)

4.0          Fred Hawson (Fred Said)

“Aside from Ms. Aunor, the star of this film is really its cinematography. All the colors were absolutely brilliant. The composition of scenes was very aesthetically appealing. The sun, the sea, the whale sharks, the quarter moon were captured in their glorious beauty.” (Read full review)

4.0          Bum Tenorio (

“You come to the theater to watch Thy Womb because you do not want to escape, instead you want to understand yourself deeper by understanding the characters and the nuances that each one of them possesses.” (Read full review)

3.5          Hindi Rebyu

“Baka may pagpapahalaga lang ako masyado sa tagal ng pinagsamahan ng mag-asawa, na sa tingin ko nama’y matagumpay na naisiksik sa loob ng kalahating oras ng pelikula, pero naniniwala akong mas mabigat ang nararamdaman ni Bangas-an para sa kanyang minamahal na si Shaleha kaysa sa pagnanasang magkaroon ng anak.” (Read full review)

3.5          Philbert Dy (Click the City)

“Graceful filmmaking combines with a terrific performance from the much-missed Nora Aunor to produce something quietly moving.” (Read full review)

3.5          Rito Asilo (Philippine Daily Inquirer)

“Roco and Poe provide ample support for Aunor’s silent but intensely immersive portrayal. Nora will break your heart as her world-weary face lights up at the film’s final fade.” (Read full review)

3.5          Mario Bautista (Showbiz Portal)

“The characters are so underwritten in Henry Burgos script you have to make up your own interpretation when it comes to their motivations.” (Read full review)

3.5          Phillip Cu-Unjieng (The Philippine Star)

“Not enough is made of the pregnant drama (Yes, pun intended) that arrives when the young wife enters the scene. At the start, far too much film time is spent on the ethnographic elements of the film, which while fascinating, lack true film drama.” (Read full review)

3.5          Rina Jimenez-David (Philippine Daily Inquirer)

“There’s a melodrama embedded somewhere in “Thy Womb,” and even a message on reproductive health and rights, and I wish Mendoza had relented a bit from his “indie” mindset and allowed ordinary filmgoers a bit more access to the story he wanted to tell.” (Read full review)

3.5         CBCP CINEMA

“Maituturing na isang hiyas ang Thy Womb. Sa gitna ng mga pelikulang melodrama,horror at komedyang walang humpay sa pag-iingay, narito ang isang pelikulang matahimik na ipinararating sa manonood ang mga pasakit ng isang nagdurusang asawa na handang magpaka-martir alang-alang sa minamahal.” (Read full review)

3.5          Stephanie Mayo (Films and Events Check)

“An important movie to watch.  A poetic and romantic work of art.” (Read full review)

3.5          Pinoy Movie Blog

Thy Womb is a poignant journey.  A pensive and unsteady boat ride paddled by emotionally raw performances.” (Pinoy Movie Blog)

3.5          Skilty Labastilla (Young Critics Circle)

“Mendoza fell in love with Tawi-Tawi and its people and it shows in Thy Womb: a picturesque, lyrical, appropriately quiet depiction of one of the most peace-loving peoples in the world – the Bajau.” (Read capsule review)

3.5          Tatak Digitista

Thy Womb may be unpolished in some parts but it’s still worth seeing.” (Read full review)

3.0          Jerky San Pedro (The Daily Anomaly)

“Can’t recommend it for its rather flimsy storytelling but will recommend it for culture-savvy folks in search of beautiful cinematography and depiction of beautiful culture.” (Read full review)

3.0         Randy Renier Espinoza (Iconoclast)

“While the film offers us a rare look at this group of Filipinos that we only know as the sea gypsies, it doesn’t really have much to say about the people and their aspirations.” (Read full review)

2.5          Reel Advice

“The jarring cuts and the sudden ending makes Thy Womb seem like a film lost in its own pursuance of Tawi-Tawi culture and it is a film full of ingenious ideas that just couldn’t live up to their potential.” (Read full review)

2.5          Taking a Break

“Out of the four entries I’ve already seen, this one has the most cohesive story, and has actors actually acting. Unfortunately, it’s also the most boring.” (Read full review)

2.0          Yasmin Arquiza (GMA News)

“Hobbled by a faulty script, reckless editing, and lack of coherence, the movie became a work that was too full of itself it was simply too painful to watch in its entirety.” (Read full review)

15 thoughts on “Thy Womb

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