Leonor Will Never Die: A Review Of Cinemalaya’s Opening Salvo For 2022

There’s so much going on with this film, it’s hard not to love it.

Leonor Will Never Die opens with a relatively normal scene. An old woman changes a lightbulb inside her room, white noise playing in the background. Cut to a man getting ready for work.

The movie starts out as normal as can be, but not even 10 minutes into it, something happens that jars the viewer. Another movie opens, and it looks completely different from the one in progress.

Let’s dive into this Cinemalaya masterpiece that’s sure to break the box office.

Leonor Will Never Die has three movies in one

Written and directed by Martika Ramirez Escobar, this film is set to open Cinemalaya 2022. Leonor, the titular character, has a vivid imagination and lives in a world of her own.

Leonor Will Never Die is a film within a film within a film. It’s quite hard to pull something like this off, lest the director messes up the timeline.

The first movie is what the viewer will see. It’s the world where Leonor and her son Rudy exist, along with her estranged husband and her other son who’s dead. But before the first movie even hits the 10-minute mark, another one comes in: Ang Pagbabalik ng Kwago.

Leonor set the opening properly. In her mind, she is able to introduce the second one to viewers in an acceptable way. She has written a highly romanticized version of their lives. The second film has the look and feel of an ’80s Tagalog action film, complete with grainy camera shots.

At about 13 minutes to the ending of the two movies, a third movie emerges. It is one where Leonor is but another character in the movie about her life as a writer. Martika, the director, appears as herself, directing the first movie.

Cinemalaya’s opening salvo is set to be a success

Three movies in one can be confusing, but Martika Ramirez Escobar made it work. She wrote and directed Leonor Will Never Die, and what she did is bound to excite, jar, and shock audiences. It also has a political undertone but avoids falling into the “poverty porn” trap. The film is a refreshing take on social issues and Philippine cinema.

Cinemalaya is set to open on August 5 and will run until October 31. Movies will be available to watch at the Cultural Center of the Philippines and online. Tickets are available on the KTX website.

RELATED Cinemalaya is setting up an outdoor cinema so you can watch films “under the stars”

For more information, visit the official Cinemalaya website.

Featured Image Daniella Sison


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