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A glimpse at one man’s life in an intersection via ‘Crossing’

“Crossing”, by Marc Misa, is a short film (approx. five minutes) that tells the story of Gabriel Arkanhell (Nino Mendoza) about to make a (big) decision in life. The title should be a giveaway; but Misa wants to give the “how” a twist somehow…

“Crossing”, by Marc Misa, is a short film (approx. five minutes) that tells the story of Gabriel Arkanhell (Nino Mendoza) about to make a (big) decision in life. The title should be a giveaway; but Misa wants to give the “how” a twist somehow…

The question is: Does this work?

PROS

  • Nino Mendoza (as Gabriel Arkanhell, the main character) is somewhat believable. I still don’t sense his total desperation (to make him do what he planned to do); but at least I had an inkling of his personal turmoil.
  • Okay production design (also by Misa) – e.g. the use of that antiquated phone to stress poverty.
  • LC de Leon’s sure camera work.
  • The tight editing by Edsel Abesames and, again, Misa.

CONS

  • Sacrificed “realism” – e.g. the driver would yell at you if you’re hopping on the bus or not; that conductor won’t just tap you to collect your fare; and those passengers won’t be clapping (or would still be around) after an attempted robbery.
  • You can sort of tell where the story is going. In the end, you’re just waiting for it to unfurl. There’s no realistic M. Night Shyamalan here…
  • This story is too… simplistic, thereby reverting to oft-used stereotypes (e.g. poor > desperate > robbery).
  • Because it’s short, we don’t really know the severity of the poverty of the character – e.g. after all, he was able to buy a gun (!).

IN THE END

For a short, short film that wanted to tell a succinct story about one man’s internal conflicts (affecting external conflicts), “Crossing” succeeded somewhat. I’d say “bitin” but won’t; because if the filmmaker extended this, it could have easily become another poverty porn flick, which would get under the nerves of more, I am sure.

READ:  More Pinoy filmmakers join Istorya ng Pag-asa filmfest 2019

So watch…

“Crossing” is part of the 17th edition of Cinemalaya Philippine Independent Film Festival, running until September 5 ktx.ph (https://www.ktx.ph/).

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