One of the first MMFF 2016 entries I watched was Ang Babae sa Septic Tank Part 2: Forever’s Not Enough for two basic reasons – the first one was a personal favorite so watching part two is a requirement and there were a few people getting in line for this movie which is sad.

The Short Film

This year’s full length films also feature entries for the short film category. Each short film is paired with a full length film that somehow carries the same theme. Septic Tank was paired with the short film “Manila Scream” by Roque Lee and Blair Camilo inspired by an 1893 painting “The Scream” of Edvard Munch. Personally, it was one of those short films that is trying too hard to be a social commentary “screaming” at social issues including air pollution and poverty and just like the painting, a commentary of the self and its environment. To include this as Septic Tank’s tandem was weird for me. The film did not come across as comedy for me. Borrowing Chris Martinez’s line in his play “Last Order sa Penguin”, this short film is too pa-deep.

The Feature Film: Ang Babae sa Septic Tank Part 2: Forever’s Not Enough

But only a few people can tell a story mixing comedy and social commentary. That is what Septic Tank Part 2 is all about and Chris Martinez made sure of that. The first installment of this movie featured Ms. Eugene Domingo in a commentary about independent films. The second installment comments on the difference between independent and commercial films stressing that independent films are almost always too personal for the director and writer without thinking of the audience. As Eugene Domingo puts it, “Yan ang gusto ng mga tao, direk” delivering the final blow by saying “If your marriage is in trouble, you don’t make a movie about it. You seek the help of a counselor”. [NON VERBATIM]

It is still funny and there were a lot of scenes that members of the audience will always talk about, re-enact, and edit. Everything was just right from directing, acting, and content. But still, it fell short if you compare it to the first installment. I have high expectations from this film but perhaps I just set the bar too high. Don’t get me wrong. The film is still good. People still laughed at it. The message was delivered clearly.

[FADE IN SLOW MSC]  But if you set high expectations way ahead, and if these expectations are not met, you will be disappointed. Masasaktan ka lang. Hugot level 1. [CUT TO]

What is more interesting about the film is the evolving character of Cai Cortes from a non-speaking character to a mediator between the actress and the director and the re-birth of a new silent character played by Khalil Ramos. I personally enjoyed the satiric attack at the end of the movie showing that for every love story to work, it should feature a young actor, a very very young actor to play the role of Eugene’s love interest. Joel Torre is out of the scene and Jericho Rosales is already “too old” to be appreciated by the younger demographics. Bring in someone young with abundant followers and the movie will surely be a hit even if it lacks content and full of clichés like sunsets as backdrops for kissing scenes.

Other aspects of commercial films featured in the movie are:

  1. The need of a sidekick.
  2. That the sidekick would be gay. “Dapat bakla. Gusto ng mga tao ng bakla“.
  3. The need of a theme song.

So what’s my verdict?

Should you watch it? Of course you should! It is still a good movie. It will still make you laugh. And Eugene Domingo is still a good actress.

denciojuan gives a thumbs up to this film.

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