1-Barbers Tales PosterVerdict: Essential Viewing

Pinoy Rebyu Score: 4.08 (13 ratings)

Genre: Drama

Writer/Director: Jun Lana

Cast: Eugene Domingo, Iza Calzado, Shamaine Buencamino, Nonie Buencamino, Gladys Reyes, Nicco Manalo, Sue Prado, Daniel Fernando, Eddie Garcia

Synopsis: The year is 1975. Marilou (Eugene Domingo) is the wife of Jose (Daniel Fernando), the only barber in a small, provincial town. She lives completely subservient to her husband, obeying his every whim and turning a blind eye to his extramarital activities. And then one day, he dies in bed. Marilou, who has been cutting her husband’s hair all these years, reluctantly takes over the barber shop. Soon, she becomes embroiled in the affairs of the town’s mayor (Nonie Buencamino) and his long-suffering wife (Iza Calzado), and finds herself harboring rebels from the oppressive regime. (Click the City)

MTRCB rating: R-13

Running time: 119 mins

Trailer: 

Reviews:

5.0         Rito Asilo (Philippine Daily Inquirer)

“The film benefits from Lana’s resilient skill at piecing together the deceptively complex patterns of his ornate tales, boosted further by an outstanding cast—most notably, Calzado, Reyes, the Buencamino couple and Sue Prado (as a manipulative hooker)—that vigorously  keeps up with the production’s thematic and dramatic ambitions.” (Read full review)

4.5         Rob San Miguel (Brun Philippines)

“The ensemble cast is amazing, a perfect example of underrated acting that highlights the characters more than the actors. Not a single performance was flawed. Everyone was in top form regardless of screen time. Leading the pack is Eugene Domingo, who gave the best performance of her career so far.” (Read full review)

4.5         Fred Hawson (Fred Said)

“Lana, fresh from his success with Bwakaw last year, comes up with yet another excellent character study.  What he does for gay senior citizens in the first film, he does for women in this film. On top of that, he adds on a layer of interesting historical and social commentary which for me, makes this film even better and substantive than Bwakaw.” (Read full review)

4.5         Dicot Alvarado (Letterboxd)

“Lana is able to constantly create a mesmerizing air of silence, and is able to reach compelling heights when the story takes drastic turns. Yet strangely enough, he still finds time to inject comedic and lighthearted moments within the mix which may seem out of place, but overall simply adds to the film’s charm.” (Read full review)

4.0         Oggs Cruz (Rappler)

“Its rhythm is gradual and measured, never rushing only for the sake of plot. The film is peppered with humor, which seems to poke fun at how men, who are depicted in the film as either weak or needy, are subservient to women despite their control.” (Read full review)

4.0         Pablo Tariman (Philippine Star)

“Everything about Barber’s Tales illumines a riveting story so simple and yet so encompassing in its hold on the audience. Lana as director and scriptwriter is an honest-to-goodness storyteller, who unravels his tale of love, lust and betrayal with cold, if, objective candor.” (Read full review)

4.0         Armando dela Cruz (Film Police)

Barber’s Tales is a skillful rumination of life and how a woman finds her voice in an age where the line between being heard and being listened to is all but a blur.” (Read full review)

4.0         Nood.ph

“Panoorin ang Barber’s Tales nang hindi inaantok o gutom o nakainom. Kailangang sound ang lahat ng iyong faculties para ma-appreciate ang galing ng Barber’s Tales. Tapos panoorin mo ulit, pero this time, isama mong manood lahat ng kilala mong kabataang hindi lumaki noong dekada sitenta sa rehimeng Marcos.” (Read full review)

4.0         Irvin Malcolm Contreras (A Girl and a Gun)

“Eugene Domingo is a well-known broad comedienne in my country. She takes the lead in a drama and runs away with it. She’s supported by an excellent supporting cast especially Gladys Reyes as her perpetually pregnant neighbor.” (Read full review)

4.0         Bernard Santos (My Movie World)

“Nagustuhan ko kung paano isinulat ang pelikulang ito at kung paano inilahad ang istorya. Habang pinapanood mo ang pelikula ay unti unti mong nakikilala at lumalim ang bawat character sa pelikula.” (Read full review)

4.0         Misstache

“It is quiet in most of its scenes and when it tries to leave an impact, it does so effectively but it has a tendency to have a soap opera kind of momentum and twists. However, Eugene Domingo’s performance pieces the narrative together, overpowering some of the weak points of the film. She delivers her role in a controlled and detached manner, you could easily see the internal struggle in her meekness.” (Read full review)

3.5         Philbert Dy (Click the City)

“The film sometimes stumbles in putting together its scenes, stray details undermining the overall effect. But the presence of Eugene Domingo ultimately brings it all together, the actress’ stellar performance overcoming some of the film’s clumsier tendencies.” (Read full review)

3.0         Emil Hofilena (Cinemil Movie Reviews)

“Some characters like complaining out loud about Martial Law and explicitly talking about their exact political stances. It feels like Jun Lana is trying to force the story into context when he shouldn’t be doing that. The context should just be there. It should exist. We should know it’s always there. He doesn’t need to force the story in.” (Watch full review)