Debosyon1Verdict: Essential Viewing

Pinoy Rebyu Score: 4.50 (11 ratings)

Genre: Drama

Writer/Director: Alvin Yapan

Cast: Paulo Avelino, Mara Lopez, Ramona Rañeses, Roy B. Dominguiano

Synopsis: Mando, a Bikolano devotee of Ina, Virgin of Peñafrancia, Patroness of Bikolandia, injures himself in the middle of the forest at the foot of the Mayon Volcano. He will be nursed back to health by a mysterious woman, Salome. They will eventually fall in love with each other. But when Mando invites her to come with him to the plains, Salome refuses, saying a curse prohibits her from leaving the forest. Salome holds a secret that will devastate Mando’s love for her. Meanwhile, Mando relies on his devotion to the Virgin of Peñafrancia to lift the curse, making him realize just how inextricably linked are the virtues of love and faith.

MTRCB Rating: R-16

Running Time: 82 mins.

Trailer: 

Reviews:

5.0         Noli Manaig (Closely Watched Frames)

“Yapan embodies the dwindling breed who can still shift shapes with the times, even in monstrous ways, in the hopes of exhorting his viewer to keep faith and not abandon him.” (Read full review)

5.0         Banana Chews

Debosyon is equally terrifying, a great modern horror film, not in the generic sense, but in its ordering and reordering of images that are religious, romantic, mythic.” (Read full review)

5.0         Skilty Labastilla (Young Critics Circle)

“Yapan understands humans’ innate need to believe in the supernatural and he films it in such a rapturous way that watching the film is a religious experience in itself.” (Read full review)

5.0         Renelson Morelos (Re[e]l Thoughts)

“It is an enigmatic work that manages to be both austerely simple and satisfyingly puzzling. Its storyline is rich and dense that a single viewing of the film might not be enough to be able to justify it.” (Read full review)

4.5         Philbert Dy (Click the City)

“It’s slow but sensual, the film lingering in the moments between words, finding a seductive rhythm in its depiction of the mundane… It’s a beautiful, lyrical work.” (Read full review)

4.5         Ria Limjap (Spot.ph)

“Alvin Yapan’s story is quintessentially Filipino—that is, a bit like ahalo-halo, because it mixes elements of religion with indigenous folklore that has been embedded deeply into our consciousness perhaps even more than the prayers of the faithful.” (Read full review)

4.5         Nicol Latayan (Tit for Tat)

“Mara Lopez is an inspired casting choice as she was perfectly suited for Saleng’s character. The movie also boasts of really impressive technical achievements with the captivating cinematography and visual effects.” (Read full review)

4.0         Oggs Cruz (ABS-CBN News)

“Yapan tells the story with admirable patience, allowing his story to really take root in the landscape that features very heavily in his elegant visuals.” (Read full review)

4.0         Rob San Miguel (Brun Magazine)

“Perhaps only Yapan can bring justice to a tricky theme like “Debosyon.”  One misstep and the film might become ridiculous but with Yapan on the helm, “Debosyon” invigorates the viewers’ senses.” (Read full review)

4.0         Manuel Pangaruy (Tagailog Special Presents)

“Kumpara sa mga naunang script ng writer/director, mas minimal ito pagdating sa speaking lines. Hinayaang i-explore ang materyal sa pamamagitan ng visual. Ang paulit-ulit na pagpapakita ng bulkang Mayon, halimbawa, ay isang pagbibigay ng emphasis na lumampas na tayo sa epiko, na ang demigod na si Oryol ay nilipasan na ng panahon ng kanyang asawang si Handyong o maging ng apo na si Makusog na ama naman ni Daragang Magayon.” (Read full review)

4.0         Isabel Rodrigo (Katipunan)

Debosyon does not shy from juxtaposing Catholic devotion with pagan worship, bringing us to Yapan’s great question: Is there any real difference between the two?” (Read full review)