Babae at Baril Review – You Can’t Talk Peace and Have a Gun
Today we are doing our first review for a QCinema 2019 entry and its my Babae at Baril review. The film is directed by Rae Red and stars Janine Gutierrez, Felix Rocco, JC Santos and more. It’s produced by Cignal Entertainment and EpicStudios.
Babae at Baril Trailer
I saw the film with not even a hint of idea what it was. I wanted to be surprised and mesmerized and boy they Rae Red and her team do just that although its a bit of a patchy start, I am already foaming at the mouth to see what this avant-garde director has for her next trick.
Babae at Baril is not your ordinary movie. The title alone is different, the film’s structure is different but the topics they discuss are not different. First of all, the title is there for a reason. While Gutierrez is the titular “Babae” and a character of her own, the “baril” or gun is another character entirely, which I thought was pretty smart.
Janine’s unnamed protagonist is a simple girl working for a department store who goes through the motions of life. She’s also got family drama in the form of her mother who simply uses her to get money while staying with her new husband and family. She’s got no friends at work and that romantic interest in the start isn’t what he seems to be. Her only friend, her roommate isn’t in a stable spot too. Then everything chances when she gets the other titular character, the gun. This changes her world and makes her go through some heavy catharsis.
The movie’s structure goes from one character to another. In total, we have four to five characters we need to follow. These were the two things you need to be wary when you watch the film. One is the weaker subplots and the characters you need to invest your time and attention to.
I haven’t seen any other movies that starred Janine Gutierrez but I can say that she belongs to showbiz royalty. You go through the ringer in terms of emotions as her character as the movie unfurls. You commisserate with her as she goes through her daily routine and feel her pain as her world crumbles. And you get that bit of excitement and share her appetite for revenge for the people who have slighted her. That moment she decides to use the discarded gun can speak volumes and can also be interpreted in a number of different ways. Of course, thats the beauty of movies, its always open to a myriad of interpretations.
For this Babae at Baril review, I also want to comment on how this COULD have been the best revenge-porn film in recent memory but it becomes a decent morality film. Either way, I thought it was good and totally worth the admission price and the time you invest in it.
Rae Red presents the story through several eyes and POVs but the strongest one she’s written still belongs to the “babae”. And while the movie’s already crammed with so much exposition, it still feels like she wanted more to happen or wanted to show more.
I also have to give hat tip to the prod team for getting great establishing shots and close ups and even making the film’s color gradient feel as gritty as the Metro Manila streets. And the lighting for making such great tense moments stand out.
Lastly, I want to say good job for the musical scoring. The song choices that they used were also apt and moving to some extent. First we got Radioactive Sago Project:
The way the film ended using this song also had a lot of meaning. So good job.
Babae at Baril Review – Verdict
Its a smart and evocative piece of film. Great cast including smaller bits for JC Santos and more. There’s just a lot of layers in this film and it’s also got incredible levels of metaphors including a commentary on social class in the Philippines, Feminism and more.
As of writing this, I also heard that Rae Red won Best Director. She deserved that award.