Short Film Review: Orasyon

, by Janine M.

Orasyon (Angelus) by Rommel 'Milo' Tolentino is a tale of a religious widow (Federica Figalan), whose vulnerabilities are stirred at the arrival of a nosy, meddling housemaid (Gloria Austria). Orasyon was presented as a drama-suspense with the widow's nightmares and hallucinations serving as the "horror story" within this sad story of an old woman waiting for her son to come and visit her. Weekly he promises, weekly he lets her down. Daily she goes to church, sun up to sun down she prays and prays. I was so annoyed and disgusted with the housemaid, how she, in her younger age, imposes her opinions on the poor old woman and passes them off as truth. She proves to be a pain in the arse, from rearranging the house furniture to challenging the old woman's belief in prayers and in a higher power. It was unnerving how eventually this affects the already vulnerable mind of the protagonist and I was glad when the maid was finally kicked out. Towards the end, we see that at an unknown point in time (in the past), she almost gave up all hope, in that shed. I'm not sure if this was the dark secret in the summary that I've read from where I watched this, or there was something more that the shed represents, that the son refuses to come home. If not, then this is simply a very sad story of loneliness and abandonment. A good eye opener for all children, especially those with parents who are nearing their twilight years.

Orasyon won as Best Short Feature in the 2nd Cinemalaya Independent Film Festival (2006).


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