"la visa loca"

this 2005 film by mark meily asks, "how far would filipinos go to get a U.S. visa?"

and robin padilla's character, jess huson, would reply: all the way to the hill on calvary...albeit in its philippine counterpart.

many a filipino's "holy grail" over the years has been to obtain a U.S. visa, at all costs, to seek greener pastures in the so-called land of milk and honey...and benjamin franklins. but in today's economic crisis that has been tagged as the worst since "the great depression," the american pasture is lacking the lactose it has lured its immigrants into finding in the first place. happy cows don't live here anymore....no fertile grass to be grazed. this barren farm needs miracle-gro...and a bail-out plan! haha.

anyway, this movie is a satiric exploration of the filipinos' passion for "the american dream"--with a lenten flavor. jess is a hardworking chauffeur who takes care of his senior, diabetic father (johnny delgado). he does everything in his power, every trick up his sleeve, to get a visa so he can be with his girlfriend in california. his desperation ultimately leads him to bargain with his british producer-client, nigel adams, who films all things peculiar in the philippines in his documentary called "strange planet." nigel contracted with a local to be crucified on the cross for his show for a lenten special. the sponsored "christ" turns out to be a swindler and nigel explodes with expletives, condemning the filipinos as nothing more than thieves.

jess takes this opportunity to "redeem" not only the image of the filipino people, but to "resurrect" his broken chance to get a U.S. visa. the overly jealous girlfriend in california had ditched him, but mara (rufa mae quinto)--an ex-girlfriend--splashes her way back into his heart as this part-time carnival mermaid with a little boy who just might be jesse's son. he also found himself face-to-face with his estranged mother, but only as long as his car's fare meter lasted.

this was a smart film with comedic commentary sung "pasyon"-style by a serious-faced group. i actually enjoyed this movie and was glad to have rented it from netflix. it's great that filipino movies are available on netflix...now, what to see next....

and who knew you could turn those netflix flaps into origami art? clearly, this crafty person does!

[movie still from clickthecity.com]

3 vandalized my wall:

MsRay said...

I saw La Visa Loca in the big screen when I was still in the Philippines. I enjoyed it so much that I brought a dvd copy of the movie with me when I left for the U.S.

If you're looking for another Pinoy movie in Netflix, I recommend "Pusong Mamon" starring Albert Martinez, Eric Quizon and Lorna T. It's actually one of the movies which you can watched instantly. No need to wait for the dvd :)

fortuitous faery said...

it's an intelligent comedy! :)

thanks for the netflix tip, msray!

Kayni said...

i also rented this from netflix and i couldn't stop laughing when they caught the snatcher and started saying "justice" while punching him. anyway, this is one good movie.

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