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Eija Maxine C. Lozano

12 St. Aldetrudis

Metro Manila: Ginhawa nga ba?

Hoping for a much easier life, Oscar Ramirez,  a farmer from the province of
Banaue, and his family made its way to the busy and crowded Metro Manila. Oscar,
being the breadwinner of the family, looks for a source of income right away, wherein he
disregards the difficulties he may face. Finally, he finds a stable job, a security officer for
Manila Armoured Couriers, when guards learned that he has a military background. On
the other hand, his wife Mai was offered a job in a bar wherein she dances and pleases
the customers. Throughout the story, the life of Oscar and his family are at risk because
of Oscar’s job.

The film was created in 2013 by British film director, Sean Ellis who is known for
his other films such as Cashback and 2016 film, Anthropoid. The film has won several
awards such as Best British Independent Film and Best Director for the British
Independent Film Awards and was nominated for Best Film not in English Language for
the BAFTA Awards.

Despite being a film created by a foreigner, the film truly captured the problems
in Metro Manila. It showed that Philippines wasn’t all about tourist spots but the
problems Filipinos has to face. The characters and plot f/elt familiar because of how real
they are and their relation to country’s problems. Jake Macapagal’s portrayal of Oscar
was spot on as we can see that he was not a totally naïve character but has only one goal
in mind and that is to provide for his family. There were scenes that truly captured the
character’s hardship and suffering that made me truly want for things for these characters
to get better. The acting is good although, I felt that Althea Vega’s portrayal of Mai
sometimes felt stiff to me. However, overall the film is great and commendable. The
cinematography of the movie was great and beautiful. It was simple yet shows how the
family went through their journey. The scenery was very pure and genuine which really
fits the movie and didn’t need and special effects. To wrap everything up, it had a simple
soundtrack and background music to set the mood and tone of the film.

The film showed what it is like when you go to Metro Manila. It is not easy and
these challenges and difficulties really happen to people. In the film, Oscar was forced to
work in a risky job, wherein it goes as far as having the possibility to get killed just to
make a living. The film is full of messages and lessons that it is up to us if we just brush
it off or do what is right and help people. Despite not experiencing these problems, the
film made me feel their suffering. That’s why I recommend watching this movie for those
of us who are lucky enough not to be in their situation, so that we can feel the suffering
they go through.