QCinema Movie Review: Babae at Baril

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Janine Gutierrez holding the gunBabae at Baril is sex, poverty, violence, and inequality – that’s how I’d summarized the movie. Don’t get me wrong. There’s nothing wrong with the issues highlighted by the movie. When you talk about realism, the movies that we should be seeing are reflections of the realities of life. Cignal Entertainment and Epic Media’s official entry to the QCinema International Film Festival is as relevant as it can be.

Directed by Rae Red, it’s one of the Filipino movies that I liked. Although I have to admit I haven’t been watching local movies. On second thought, I haven’t been watching that much movies at all.

Babae at Baril movie posterI like the movie because it will make you think and read between the lines. Janine Gutierrez stars as a saleslady in a local department store. She’s a simple young lady forced to leave her home and work in Manila. Living solo, she’s subjected to the challenges of substandard living and working environment.

A scene in Babae at Baril inside the locker room
Janine Gutierrez is a young saleslady

I liked that the story telling was unapologetic. You’ll see life in the metro as is, and it’s a bit unnerving despite being familiar with it. Some of the scenes will shock you. That shows that Babae at Baril is effective in showing real life.

Most of all, I like how there’s just a handful of actors moving in circles, with flashbacks to help you connect the dot, and eventually bring you to the present. Correct me if I’m wrong, but I haven’t watched a local movie done that way. I’m used to watching Filipino movies with many subplots and characters told in a dragging way.

A scene in Babae at Baril along the road
Dark alleys and long commutes featured in the movie

To truly appreciate the movie, watch it. I recommend it. Janine Gutierrez did a great job of building her character from being a naive girl to a lady with a gun out in the streets to hunt someone. Babae at Baril also stars Felix Roco, Elijah Canlas, JC Santos, and Sky Teotico with special participation of Ruby Ruiz, Allan Paule, and Archie Adamos.

Babae at Baril is director Rae Red’s 2nd feature film and her first solo directorial effort. The film is one of the three recipients of production grants amounting to P1.5 million each from QCinema. The movie will be competing along with Glenn Barit’s The Cleaners and Arnel Barbarona’s Kaaway sa Sulod, and against entries from Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia, Laos, and China.

A scene in Babae at Baril with JC Santos
Babae at Baril dealt with extra judicial killing

The film is now shown in selected cinemas from October 15 to 22, 2019. QCinema 2019 runs from October 13 to 22 and will be screening films at Gateway Mall, Ayala Trinoma, Robinsons Galleria, UPFI Cine Adarna, Cinema ’76 Anonas, and Cinema Centenario in Quezon City.

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