(DRAMA -- PHILIPPINE)
A GMA Films presentation of a Teamwork Prods. production. Produced by Gil M. Portes. Executive producer, Marco M. Capistrano.
Directed by Gil M. Portes. Screenplay, Jose Y. Dalisay Jr., Portes. Camera (color), Louie Quirino; editor, Tara Illenberger; music, Joy Marfil; production designer, Tanny Perez. Reviewed at World Film Festival, Montreal (World Cinema), Sept. 4, 1999. Running time: 85 MIN.
With: Ricky Davao, Lester Llansang, Jennifer Sevilla, Mark Gil, Sining Blanco, Daryl Reyes, Connie Lauigan-Chua, Nanding Josef, Roy Alvarez, RR Herrera.
Veteran Philippine helmer Gil M. Portes follows up his transsexual coming-out seriocomedy "Miguel/Michelle" with a very different domestic drama in "The Kite," an effective tale concerning a child's crisis of parental faith. A bit too melodramatic in concept for arthouse export, despite relatively restrained handling, the pic will log plenty of mileage on the fest circuit.
Muscle-bound, widowed cop Homer (Ricky Davao) is a loving father to his 10-year-old son, Rex (Lester Llansang), but his bullying, sometimes drunken behavior elsewhere is not well regarded in their poor Manila neighborhood. Cranky and hungover, he shoots a suspected thief, but it turns out the boy was only retrieving a snarled kite. Homer covers his tracks, but, unbeknownst to him, Rex was the sole witness to the fatal shooting. As father and son separately wrestle with their consciences, neighbors guess at the truth, and the incident becomes a cause celebre for public outrage and political opportunism. Good perfs, particularly from the two leads, buoy this simple morality tale; tech aspects are adequate.