China Doll1Verdict: Proceed with Caution

Pinoy Rebyu Score: 2.78 (10 ratings)

Genre: Drama

Director: Adolfo Alix, Jr.

Writer: Lav Diaz

Cast: Angelica Panganiban, Cesar Montano, Phillip Salvador, Anita Linda, Allan Paule, Evelyn Vargas

Synopsis: Helen lives with her grandmother in an idyllic island down South. At 17, she is about to graduate from high school and start a new life. Things take a drastic turn when journalist Perry Nanali’s article on the truth about “China Doll”is exposed. Now, she is haunted by her past that she tried to forget.

Trailer: 

Reviews:

3.75         Irvin Malcolm Contreras (A Girl and a Gun)

“I don’t know if the director clipped the script but the film is 90 minutes long and I feel we only got a very fleeting glimpse of what really should have been a 2.5 hour (at least) epic to fully explore the many intricacies that this film only merely touched upon.” (Read capsule review)

3.5         Present Confusion

“The pieces are incomplete and by the end, you are left wanting more. But whether intentionally ironic or not, knowing the truth is part of one of the issues the movie brings up – how important is unearthing the truth?” (Read full review)

3.5         Emil Nor Urao (E-Reviews)

Alamat ni China Doll was engaging for its style and the top-notch performances from Angelica Panganiban and Cesar Montano. But in the end, the film was a little hazy. There was a part of me asking for its relevance because it gave an interesting concept on the levels of truth but it never came up with a resolution.” (Read full review)

3.0         Philbert Dy (Click the City)

“There’s a lot of story to tell, and Alamat ni China Doll doesn’t seem to get to all of it. It speeds through the events of the story, rarely having the space to let any of it settle.” (Read full review)

3.0         Renelson Morelos (Reel Thoughts)

“On paper, there seems to be nothing “interesting” about the film’s plot. It’s something that doesn’t easily grab one’s attention. However, the film is presented in a non-chronological order that it becomes a challenge for the viewers to put the “scattered” pieces together like a puzzle to be solved.” (Read full review)

3.0         Macky Macarayan (Death of Traditional Cinema)

“Alix has made better films in his extensive filmography, but his attempt at a genre film is very well-appreciated. Alamat ni China Doll confronts us of the moral dilemma of truth in journalism, because at what justification, really must the need to know outweigh the life of a human being?” (Read full review)

3.0         Manuel Pangaruy (Tagailog Special Presents)

“Maliban sa suhestiyon nito na mawalan ng tiwala sa mga may kapangyarihan, gusto ko rin na hindi ito masyadong nagpapaliwanag. Mataas ang sensibility n’ung materyal. At hindi ako magugulat na sa dulo ay maraming magtatanong kung ano talaga ang nangyari.” (Read full review)

2.0         CBCP CINEMA

“Ang bisa ng paggamit ng pagkukwentong non-linear ay nasa kakayahan na masilip ang kapirasong katotohanan at unti-unting mabuo ang kwentong salungat sa unang inakala. Sa magulong paroo’t parito ng China Doll, iisang pisngi pa rin ng katotohanan ang nabubuo at wala namang misteryong natatambad dahil simula pa lamang ay alam mo na ang takbo nito.” (Read full review)

1.5         Derek Elley (Film Business Asia)

“The last of three features by Alix that appeared in 2013, it’s boosted — like so many of his films — by a strong cast of largely veteran names but is confusingly structured, to the point of incoherency, for no apparent reason and engages the viewer on neither an emotional nor an intellectual level.” (Read full review)

1.5         Mario Bautista (Showbiz Portal)

“It poses so many questions but fails to come up with satisfying answers or explanations. In the end, you get the feeling that it’s not complete, that so many scenes intended to tie up the so many loose ends in the plot were not shot at all. And we viewers are being asked to connect the dots.” (Read full review)

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