Cavite

"Very Good"

Cavite Review


The sun beats down as if it's about to crash into the earth as Ian steps off his plane, returning to his crowded homeland, the Philippines. The smell of sewage and the irritating chatter of busy cabbies and confused tourists become more palpable than one can imagine through a screen. Suddenly, a call comes from a phone Ian doesn't recognize. He pulls it out of his bag, answers it, and suddenly everything else doesn't matter.

IAN GAMAZON and NEILL DELA LLANA's debut film sure does throw you for a loop as its ticking clock plot unravels. Ian, played by Gamazon, gets a slick, serious voice in his ear telling him that he must follow the directions that are laid out for him, or it's all closed curtain for his mother and sister. From there, he must duck past corners, rush through orange and red street markets, hop into bike cabs and performs other bizarre acts, only to end up in a church with a timely task.

Cavite, though nothing less than a fascinating guerrilla exercise, main purpose might be to show why like-minded, stiff stipulation thrillers ultimately fail. Most recently, the Bob Cohen scripted Cellular brought on the idea that, literally, one cannot survive without one's cell phone. Though the satire is palpable, the film was played for thrills, not humor, and therefore, was not a successful film.

Instead, Cavite throws us head-first into a dizzying tailspin of Diaspora colors and settings and barking terrorist paranoia that has all the momentum of an ADD patient on a Red Bull binge. The moments of overblown dramatics are abandoned to give way to a more streamlined, kinetic pace that allows the tension to buzz along without stop. Where Cellular and, to a lesser extent, its derelict cousin Phone Booth, tried to fit in the idea of a breached nuclear family (the son that Kim Basinger is trying to save, the wife and would-be girlfriend Colin Farrell tries to protect), Cavite seemingly casts its eyes solely on the alienated hero. From this, there actually seems to be a more emotional investment in the nearly unheard of family, since we are seeing the emotional investment through Ian's eyes and are not allowed to make our own judgments on the actions or personality of the family.

Of course, there are onions in the ointment. Gamazon can't really hack it as an actor; his panic to throw out the words in the amateurish script takes away from the manic energy of just watching him run around to the terrorists' whim. The climactic scene in a popular church gives an eerily ambivalent tone to violent action (a sort of inverse to the underrated Arlington Road). What starts as sweat-beading nervosa takes a bewildering turn into political bartering; its tone changes way too late in the game. However, there's no doubt that both Gamazon and Llana know their genre and understand how to make a thriller, and make one cheap as well; the entire cost of the film was probably a New Yorker's monthly tab of Metro Cards. Alarming and unrelenting, the film holds its panic like a proverbial feather in its cap.

My parents went to Manila and all I got was this blue bag of oranges.



Cavite

Facts and Figures

Run time: 80 mins

In Theaters: Saturday 12th March 2005

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 3.5 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 73%
Fresh: 29 Rotten: 11

IMDB: 6.3 / 10

Cast & Crew

Producer: Quynn Ton, ,

Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

New Movies

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 Movie Review

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 Movie Review

It was never going to be easy to match the impact of 2014's Guardians of...

The Promise Movie Review

The Promise Movie Review

The director of Hotel Rwanda, Terry George, turns to another humanitarian horror: the systematic murder...

Their Finest Movie Review

Their Finest Movie Review

Skilfully written, directed and acted, this offbeat British period film tells a story that catches...

Unforgettable Movie Review

Unforgettable Movie Review

With heavy echoes of trashy thrillers like Fatal Attraction, this movie overcomes its painfully simplistic...

The Belko Experiment Movie Review

The Belko Experiment Movie Review

The kill-or-die scenario that this movie hinges on isn't something new; it's been used in...

The Fate of the Furious Movie Review

The Fate of the Furious Movie Review

With the more dumbed-down title Fast & Furious 8 outside of North America, this overcrowded...

A Quiet Passion Movie Review

A Quiet Passion Movie Review

British writer-director Terence Davies (The Deep Blue Sea) is an expert at digging beneath the...

Advertisement
The Sense of an Ending Movie Review

The Sense of an Ending Movie Review

Julian Barnes' Booker Prize-winning novel is adapted into a remarkably intelligent, gently involving film anchored...

The Boss Baby Movie Review

The Boss Baby Movie Review

There isn't a lot of subtlety in this madcap animated comedy, which is more aimed...

City of Tiny Lights Movie Review

City of Tiny Lights Movie Review

After the latest incarnation of Dredd, director Pete Travis shifts gears drastically for this complex...

Going in Style Movie Review

Going in Style Movie Review

This is only technically a remake of the iconic 1979 film starring movie icons George...

Graduation Movie Review

Graduation Movie Review

Romanian filmmaker Cristian Mungiu (4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days) recounts another staggeringly detailed...

Ghost in the Shell Movie Review

Ghost in the Shell Movie Review

This sci-fi thriller is so visually stunning that it deserves to be mentioned in the...

Free Fire Movie Review

Free Fire Movie Review

Basically a 90-minute shoot-out, there isn't a lot to this movie. British filmmaker Ben Wheatley...

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.