The slingshot arrows of “Asintado” (Between the Eyes) that were aimed right at its audience may have landed on familiar solid ground but didn’t feel like it hit the very core of the audiences’ sensitivities.
For starters, there’s the casting. While Julia (Aiko Melendrez) have delivered an excellent performance as a mother of two adolescent boys, Tonio (Jake Vargas) who may have shown a different kind of acting, far different from what we’ve seen from him from his previous movies and tv soaps, didn’t feel natural at all. He appeared to have been out-shined by one of the films supporting cast, Etok (Miggs Cuaderno).
Next is the characters’ accent, which didn’t seem to help them in establishing their strong characters, it seemed to confuse the audience on the real setting of the film. The film also appeared to be very predictable. When Etok shot the pig with a slingshot, it foreshadowed the villain’s fate.
Yet despite of all these failed attempts to hit the target, the film was able to strike coherent storylines and sharp cinematic images that will be stamped in the history Cinemalaya more specifically the depiction of “Pagsa-San Juan”. It was flawless and it was panoramic. The single tight shot on Julia as she delivers her prayers towards the end of the film was excellently executed, some may say it can cleanse all the minor faults of Asintado.
Festival: Cinemalaya 2014