Short Film Review: Mansyon

, by Janine M.

Mansyon (directed by Joel Ruiz and produced by Cinemalaya and Arkeomedia) depicts the experiences of a middle-aged couple, housemaid Dolores (Roselyn Perez) and her gardener husband Ambo (Jess Evardone) during their three-month stint as caretakers of a large, plush mansion while the owners are away on vacation. The first few weeks went by with the couple dutifully carrying out their chores, seemingly oblivious to the affluence covered by white sheets. A few accidental drops of perfume opened long-hidden aspirations quieted by their awareness of their place and role in society, and as it was in the beginning, Eve took the bite/bait. Adam was tempted and eventually gave in as well. For the following weeks, fantasy became reality if only for a while. Years were subtracted from their ages, and love was rekindled between them. However, their bliss was cut short by the unexpected return of the mansion's owners (could be deliberate to test the faithfulness of the caretakers). The film stirs the audience's emotions, and one can sympathize with the couple, as this was the closest they could get to living out their dreams. I loved the way the film ended, with the couple smiling at each other. This experience will be tucked away, to be brought out every now and then in their future conversations of "Remember when...". An inside joke, privy only to them. Overall, a great film with impressive visuals, music, flow, and the right length and pace.

Mansyon won Best Short Film in the 1st Cinemalaya Film Festival in 2005, nominated as Best Short Film in Gawad Urian, and was an official selection in several festivals and screenings: Cinemanila, Fribourg (Sweden), Singapore, New York Asian-American, Pesaro (Italy), Hawaii, and Mumbai Third Eye Film Festivals.


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