×

The Masseur

Atmosphere trumps character development in Brillante Mendoza's debut feature "The Masseur," co-winner of Locarno's video competish. Largely set in an all-male massage parlor/brothel, pic contrasts the sexual ambivalence within its flimsy walls with a masseur's family life in the provinces.

With:
With: Jaclyn Jose, Alan Paule, Coco Martin, Katherine Luna, Paolo Rivero, Kristopher King, Ru Miranda.

Atmosphere trumps character development in Brillante Mendoza’s debut feature “The Masseur,” co-winner of Locarno’s video competish. Largely set in an all-male massage parlor/brothel, pic contrasts the sexual ambivalence within its flimsy walls with a masseur’s family life in the provinces. But constant time shifts are clumsily handled, and the dramatic arc, meant to circle around on itself, ends up going nowhere. With visuals lacking the sensuality of “Midnight Dancers” and its ilk, pic’s adorable star can only go so far in bringing in biz beyond targeted fests.

Accommodating charmer Iliac (Coco Martin) journeys to the family home to bury his father. He approaches his duties with mixed emotions, more concerned with supporting his mother (Jaclyn Jose) than grieving for a deadbeat dad. Helmer Mendoza intercuts these scenes with the previous evening at the massage parlor, where Iliac presses the flesh of a new client (Alan Paule, from the superior “Macho Dancer”). Nice matching shots of Iliac undressing his father’s corpse and undressing his client fail to make a statement. The weak script leaves characters like Iliac’s preposterously trashy g.f. (Katherine Luna) underwritten. Vid quality is mixed, with occasional sound problems.

The Masseur

Philippines

Production: A Gee Films Prods. Intl. presentation a Centerstage production. (International sales: Ignatius Films -- Canada, Mississauga, Ontario.) Produced by Ihman Esturco. Executive producers, Fedelyn T. Geling. Lourdes Gnileg, Marissa Cua Dante, Venus Mungcal. Directed by Brillante Mendoza. Screenplay, Boots S. Agbayani Pastor, based on an original story by Ferdinand Lapuz.

Crew: Camera (color, DigiBeta), Timmy Jimenez, Monchie Redoble; editor, Herbert Navasca; music, Jerrold Tarog; production designer, Benjamin Padero; costume designers, Dang Sering, Jean Retiro; line producer, Coco Simo. Reviewed at Locarno Film Festival (Video Competition), Aug. 10, 2005. (Also in Toronto Film Festival.) Tagalog and Pampango dialogue. Running time: 76 MIN.

With: With: Jaclyn Jose, Alan Paule, Coco Martin, Katherine Luna, Paolo Rivero, Kristopher King, Ru Miranda.

More Film

  • Great Point Media, The Development Partnership

    Great Point Media, The Development Partnership Join Forces on Slate of Movies

    Great Point Media and The Development Partnership, the development and production arm of Robert Taylor’s talent agency the Artists Partnership, are joining forces to develop, package, and co-produce multiple films, kicking off with three projects, including “Chasing Agent Freegard,” starring James Norton (“War & Peace”). “Chasing Agent Freegard,” which is being produced by “Captain Phillips” [...]

  • Berlin: FiGa Acquires ‘Landless,’ Drops ‘Hormigas’

    Berlin: FiGa Acquires ‘Landless,’ Drops ‘Hormigas’ Trailer (EXCLUSIVE)

    Sandro Fiorin’s Miami-based FiGa Films, a leading sales agent on the independent Latin American scene, has announced the acquisition of Brazilian doc “Landless,” and released a trailer for the Costa Rican-Spanish drama “El despertar de las hormigas.” Both features will play at this year’s Berlinale Forum and come from young Latin American filmmakers making their [...]

  • Ryan Reynolds Cancels Arm Surgery to

    Ryan Reynolds Cancels Arm Surgery to Promote 'Deadpool 2' in China

    Ryan Reynolds canceled surgery on his arm to fly to China and charm “Deadpool” fans in Beijing on Sunday ahead of the franchise’s unexpected China theatrical debut. Just last week, Fox suddenly announced that a re-cut, PG-13 “Deadpool 2” would hit Chinese theaters starting this Friday – the first time the notoriously blood-splattered and foul-mouthed [...]

  • Bertrand Tavernier Hosts Night of Cinema

    Bertrand Tavernier Hosts Night of Cinema Inspired Orchestra in Paris

    Flanked by UniFrance president Serge Toubiana and the National Orchestra of France, filmmaker Bertrand Tavernier stood before a rapt crowd at Paris’ Maison de la Radio this past Saturday to introduce an evening dedicated to French film scores called “May the Music Begin!” That moniker – a reference to the original French title of his [...]

  • Orange Studio Sells Out 'Serial (Bad)

    Orange Studio Sells Out 'Serial (Bad) Weddings 2,' 'City Hunter' (EXCLUSIVE)

    Paris-based Orange Studio has nearly sold out its two French comedy highlights, Philippe de Chauveron’s “Serial (Bad) Weddings 2” and Philippe Lacheau’s “City Hunter.” “Serial (Bad) Weddings 2,” which opened the UniFrance Rendez-Vous in Paris last week, is the sequel of the smash hit film which grossed over $148 million worldwide. The movie has been [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content