Saturday, March 11, 2006


by Reymundo Salao

In the story of Jack & the Beanstalk, Jack had to sell their cow because they were poor, but what happened later on was that he did sell the cow, but all he got were "magic beans". In the movie "NASAAN SI FRANCIS?" Boy & Sonny were broke and they needed money; Boy needed to save her girlfriend from a prostitution ring and Sonny needed money for his tuition fees. So they went to their old friend, Francis, who was a wealthy drug junkie, along with their carabao, which they are bent to sell to Francis. But all Francis could offer them is 50 pieces of Ecstasy pills worth a thousand pesos each. The only problem is that later on, Francis dies of a drug overdoes and he hasn’t given them those ecstasy pills yet before he falls dead. Their situation later is complicated by the fact that they'd have to pull off an homage to "Weekend at Bernie's" and pretend that Francis was still alive so that they could find those ecstasy pills that Francis promised them.

Okay, I guess it would be advisable that if you really abhor drugs to the point that you can find no humor in people making complete fools of themselves while being intoxicated or "high", it's utterly obvious that this movie is not for you. NASAAN SI FRANCIS is an irreverant movie about druggies getting themselves in a complicated situation that can get them killed. In the long run, one can justify with logical "smart-ass" reasoning that if some of the characters of the movie have gotten themselves in trouble or dead, it is because they were using drugs, therefore, one can say that this is an anti-drug movie. It is also educational (to the naive) because this may perhaps be the only movie where you REALLY SEE what marijuana, shabu, and ecstasy looks like. Sure, many of you may have studied Drugs Education in high school, but it isnt till much later in life that some of you would really get to see what marijuana & shabu crystals look like. This movie shows them to you. Now you know, STAY AWAY FROM THEM. They're illegal. In addition, shabu & ecstasy destroys your brain.

"NASAAN SI FRANCIS?" is distributed by UNITEL Pictures which stands out as one of the growing film companies in the local film industry and whose reputation promises to bring forth that much-needed change in the local film industry, that which might possibly destroy the bad reputation of Tagalog movies. With its track record of top-quality films that include "Crying Ladies", "Santa Santita" and "La Visa Loca", "Nasaan si Francis?" is Unitel's new rocketship of comedy to kick off the year. This film was supposed to be released during last December's Metro Manila Film Festival, too bad it wasnt. In my opinion, all the entries of last December's MMFF were really ugly movies. And yes, I think the people of last December's MMFF had really bad taste.

Rocker Karl Roy is a giggle-generator in NASAAN SI FRANCIS

This movie is based on the stage play "Diin si Francis?" and is directed by first-time director Gabby Fernandez. This movie is actually an indie project in which Epy Quizon and Christopher De Leon are investors in, and was later released via Unitel Pictures, which covered the expenses for prints, advertising and distribution to support not just direk Gabby but the first-time filmmakers involved in the project. Topbilling the main characters are Paolo Contis and (Rivermaya frontman) Rico Blanco, and Epy Quizon as Francis, whose acting in this movie is very convincingly dead. But the one who stands out in this movie as its giggle generator is P.O.T.(rock bands) and Kapatid frontman Karl Roy who plays a junkie who sleeps all day. The film also stars Christopher De Leon who, in many recent interviews expresses his great respect and support for indie filmmakers, Rio Locsin, who plays a vicious pimp, and there's also Rita Avila, who still looks spicy gorgeous for her age and still extremely shaggable, in addition to the yummy spice, here's Tanya Garcia and Julie Clarete (wow). And last but not the least, is Angel Aquino (my golden goddess. hehehe).

For a dark comedy, this film is very very high. Outrageously funny and inventive without ever crossing into the line of the typical Tagalog slapstick comedy clichés. Although the typical Tagalog moviegoer may be shocked with its content, “NASAAN SI FRANCIS?” is groundbreaking and electrifyingly fresh. In its indie style lies the discipline of quality moviemaking. NASAAN SI FRANCIS is a MUST-SEE! (But not for the naïve).

No comments: