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Entertainment

Who are we to judge the insane?

MY FAVORITE MOVIE - Amy Lee -

As a kid, I remembered distinctly that I was disappointed while watching the 1974 Famas Awards because Susan Roces in Patayin sa Sindak si Barbara lost to Lolita Rodriguez in Tinimbang Ka Ngunit Kulang. At that time, I was biased towards fair-skinned actresses. Moreover, I was not familiar with Lolita’s body of work.

Thirty-eight years later, while switching channels one late afternoon, I was finally able to view Tinimbang Ka Ngunit Kulang in its entirety.

The movie is about the social injustice experienced by the marginalized sector of our society. It is also about a young man’s rude awakening to the evils of humanity. Directed by Lino Brocka and written by Mario O’ Hara, the film focuses on three main characters: Junior (Christopher de Leon), Kuala (Lolita Rodriguez) and Berto (Mario O’ Hara).

Junior is a young man from an affluent family whose father (Eddie Garcia) is a perennial womanizer. Kuala is the deranged woman who is the object of teasing and mockery of the whole village. Berto is the leper who cannot find the right woman for him because of his condition and physical appearance.

Since Junior is unlike the other spoiled brats in his circle, he is dismayed by what is happening around him. He is jilted by his girlfriend when she is impregnated by his best friend. It is also evident that Junior does not approve of his friends making fun of Kuala although he remains mum about it because he is basically a quiet man. He is also sick and tired of hearing his parents bicker due to his father’s womanizing. He is even seduced by a mysterious older woman who turns out to be a nymphomaniac. Because of his frustrations, he ironically finds solace in Kuala and Berto who are living together in a small hut isolated from the village.

Since Berto is not even allowed to enter the nightclub, he takes advantage of Kuala’s innocence and becomes her lover. Later on, however, prurient or carnal desire is replaced by genuine caring.

Junior becomes a witness to the love between Berto and Kuala and eventually becomes a true friend to them.

The whole town is scandalized upon learning that Kuala is pregnant with Berto’s child. The Catholic women’s group forcibly takes Kuala from Berto but somehow Berto is able to get her back temporarily.

When Kuala is about to deliver the baby, the doctor Berto fetches snubs him. Berto had to hostage the doctor to make him come with him.

News spreads fast and in a few minutes, the whole town has gathered at Berto’s hut. It is too late when Junior came because Berto has been gunned down by the police. The big secret that has been revealed though is that Kuala’s mental instability stems from the forced abortion of her love child with Cesar, Junior’s father.

As far as mainstream movies are concerned, they do not make films like Tinimbang anymore. Most local films (excluding digital films) shown recently are feel-good movies that lack depth and substance. The film combines good entertainment and social significance. Even though the message is deep, it is never boring. What is astounding about the film is how great the ensemble acting is. Even though Lolita’s lines were few and far between, she is simply magnificent and does not go overboard. I now fully realize why she won the 1974 Famas Best Actress award. The young Christopher is so raw and natural. Mario O’ Hara and Eddie Garcia are in their element. Even Hilda Koronel and Laurice Guillen, both with short but important roles, are a delight to watch in their younger days.

The message of the film resonates until the present time because not a few among us still show apathy and not enough compassion towards our less fortunate brothers and sisters. Hypocrisy still abounds even in these modern times when communication is much more open. With all our hang-ups and insecurities, I guess it’s best that we focus on examining our faults and weaknesses and continue improving ourselves instead of judging others.

BERTO

BERTO AND KUALA

EDDIE GARCIA

EVEN HILDA KORONEL AND LAURICE GUILLEN

FAMAS AWARDS

FAMAS BEST ACTRESS

KUALA

LOLITA RODRIGUEZ

MARIO O

TINIMBANG KA NGUNIT KULANG

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