By Nonoy L. Lauzon/UP Film Institute
The film serves as a glossary of all the clichés governing the main genres of the domestic film – complete with Brechtian asides and annotation for a parody to end all parodies.
When Philippine cinema learns to laugh at itself, it must be progress. To a certain extent, this is demonstrated by the omnibus feature, Lumayo Ka Nga sa Akin – the first local major motion picture released in the country for the new year. It is naturally star-studded and relatively well-crafted with production values costly enough to be commensurate with studio means.
It is actually three comedic films in one – separately directed by three of the biggest marquee names from the ranks of today’s active filmmakers: Mark Meily, Andoy Ranay and Chris Martinez. It is derived from the best-selling novel penned by Bob Ong of “ABNKKBSNPLAko?!” fame. Its title matches, in keeping with the core that underlies each and every episode of the trilogy, the hip alteration of the hit pop song on a love that got away which in turn graces its soundtrack.
But, perhaps, its prime asset still pertains to the fact that it has a movie queen in its cast in the person of Maricel Soriano. The highly esteemed actress may appear to have been underutilized for this sort of project. Nonetheless to paraphrase a saying, actors prove themselves to be truly great even, or most especially with, small roles. And Maricel, so to speak, does exactly just that.
By now a recognized tradition in Philippine film industry, anthologies are resorted to by producers thinking that such could have much drawing power that easily translates to lucrative box-office income. Anthology flicks are of several types. Regarded as most phenomenal to this day is Lipad, Darna, Lipad – the 1973 blockbuster that established Vilma Santos as the true superstar of her era. Of course, in terms of longevity, the Shake, Rattle and Roll franchise that began in 1984 has turned out to be unbeatable. One may seriously doubt, however, that the latest anthology to grace the big screen could ever come close to the sensational success of LDL or the SRR series.
What audiences can be sure of Lumayo Ka Nga sa Akin, instead, is its singular agenda for triviality and lampoon in the mode and fashion of Scary Movie films of Hollywood and the ilk that such has spawned (i.e. Date Movie, Disaster Movie, Epic Movie, Vampires Suck, etc.). Ambitious in a way, it is determined to be a smorgasbord with everything for everyone. For some though, it may be hogwash since in its attempt to bare and unearth all the reasons by which one could bash and hate Philippine cinema, it only gets to hand out a grand apologia for it in order to further entrench it –warts and all – in the hearts and minds of the captive, unsuspecting and gullible viewers.