Ang Tanging Ina N'yong Lahat

3/5 stars

It's undeniably the 2008 Metro Manila Film Festival's top grosser. It'll be so outdated of you to not watch it among the entries this year. To be perfectly honest, in my own personal opinion, only two films among the entries are worth watching for, this one and Viva Film's Baler.

Together with my mom and sister, I went and watch at Gateway Cineplex a day before New Year's Eve. We opted for the 7pm screening. There was a long line outside Cinema 5 as the theater was still being prepared. While waiting to get in, I thought about how I'm going to review this movie. I felt that it would be unfair if I'm going to be very critical about the movie. After all, its kind of comedy is catered to the lower classes of the society; therefore, one shouldn't expect a humor where thinking is still an utmost importance.

The first Tanging Ina movie in 2003 break a lot of records. This is probably the reason why Director Wenn Deramas and scriptwriter Mel del Rosario stick with the old formula they used in 2003 that made Tanging Ina an all-time box office hit.

This sequel picks up a few years after the first one. Some of her children who can't be in the movie were told to have made lives of their own. Ina and best friend Rowena after being in and out of different jobs took a work at the MalacaƱang Palace as maids. Events happened and Ina accidentally overhears the assassination plot by the vice-president to kill the president. When the president dies, Ina confided the truth and was challenged by the vice-president to a snap election. Eventually, Ina wins and she's now faced to be the mother not only to her children but also to the entire nation.

The script was a classic Mel del Rosario. Ok but then again a couple of corny, just-to-get-it-over with jokes/lines were all over the film. But since this movie was not an award winning one and was just intended to sell and entertain, flaws in the script were all forgivable.

Direction was again a classic Wenn Deramas. He's not much of a visual storyteller. There were a lot of hurried sequences, thus, the film's narrative was half-baked. Resolution if there really was sucked big time. Balancing the heavy comedy of the film with predictable family drama was a brilliant idea but it wasn't carried out very well. As a matter of fact, a lot of these drama scenes were tedious. The problem I guess was because it undermines the movie's tone that the director already set.

The movie's real gem is its casts. Ai Ai was great in her role as Ina. She showed versatility that she's not only the queen of comedy but also, as powerful as she is in that field, she's also an equally talented drama actress. She can be a caricature to make her audience burst with laughter but she can also pull off a crying scene, showing that how funny she maybe, she also has a heart, able to give unconditional love, accept failure and mistakes.

No questions asked. No second thoughts. EUGENE DOMINGO is the best on what she does. She's not just talented; she really has a gift of humor.

This movie wasn't at all a candidate for 5 or even 4 stars but this is one of the perfect movies to end your year with. It's the kind of movie that will entertain you to the core of your bones. It will make you forget even just for an hour and 50 minutes or so. It will make you just laugh out the year that you just had. I say this movie is still worth every centavo you're going to spend if you just want to sit back and laugh laugh laugh. And also, this movie doesn't pretend. From the title alone, you'll know how this movie was intended for. No unforgettable lines, no remarkable scenes, just wonderful performances from the actors enough for you to enjoy.

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