Thursday, November 23, 2006


Film Development Council of the Philippines
Summation of CEB members’ comments on
Unitel Pictures

INANG YAYA tells a very simple story. A single mother lives away from her very young daughter to work as a nanny of another little girl. When circumstances allow the three of them to live in the same house, the nanny realizes that she hardly knows her own daughter and that her heart is even torn between the two girls. What could easily have been just a mushy melodrama becomes, in the hands of scriptwriter Veronica Velasco and her co-director Pablo Biglang-awa, a finely crafted film that is both deeply moving and very intelligent.

It is a tearjerker that effectively does what it’s suppose to do – jerk tears without being cloying. The crisp and clear cinematography, with mostly close-ups and tight shots, compels the viewer to feel the various complex emotions of the film. But the film, too, has enough restraint to allow its audience to reflect on the complexities of domestic relationships and the oppressiveness of social prejudice.

The film, of course, also draws its power from its well-thought out characters as well as their portrayal. Maricel Soriano, true to form, delivers an excellent and highly nuanced performance as Norma. Tala Santos is credible as the feisty but caring Ruby, and so is Erika Oreta as the bratty but sweet Louise. And Liza Lorena, as a haughty grandmother who learns how to care for someone she is determined to hate, shows how a true actress can shine even in a minor role.

INANG YAYA shows how a simple material, when treated with complexity and depth, can turn into an excellent film. The Cinema Evaluation Board, therefore, gives the film a grade of 'A.'

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