Movie review: Ai Ai is 'Sisterakas'' saving grace

“Sisterakas” (Star Cinema and Viva Films) is a shamelessly “money-trip” movie, driven purely by profit. It is ironic that the backdrop of the story of this movie is the fashion world which is supposed to be about class and taste, but this movie is a twisted celebration of poor taste.

Star fixation is one of the pitfalls of the Philippine movie industry, and “Sisterakas” brought this trait to a new low. Lead stars Kris Aquino and Vice Ganda are so full of themselves that they no longer portray their characters and instead reference themselves—their love lives, their product endorsements, and their friendship. I wonder why they bothered to make a movie at all.

The only saving grace of “Sisterakas” is Ai Ai delas Alas. She can move the audience to laugh and cry with her. But then again, her role and acting style did not depart from her “Tanging Ina Mo” movie series. Meaning, she and Wenn V. Deramas, who directed the well-made movie series about the life and (mis)adventures of Ina Montecillo, ran out of ideas and ended up with this pathetic money-trip of a movie.

I have no quarrel with profit. I myself would love to have a lot of money. But when you do this in the context of the Metro Manila Film Festival where the objective is to promote and revive Philippine movies, doing a bad movie like “Sisterakas” defeats the purpose.

“Sisterakas” is irritating because I know that its director, Deramas, is capable of directing a great film. Vice Ganda, if well-directed and guided by a decent script, can make one laugh, and Ai Ai delas Alas can be a darling of a comedienne.

It is interesting to note that details like the story and screenplay writers were not included in the movie poster, which is just as well since “Sisterakas” has no original story. The production design does not meet the standards for a movie about the fashion design world and much is wanting in its cinematography.

The greatest disgrace of “Sisterakas” is Kris Aquino. Someone should have told her doing comedy is far more difficult than drama or horror. She could not deliver a punch line and her movements were awkward. I know it is unfair to compare her to Meryl Streep and Glenn Close, but many scenes in the movie reminded me of “The Devil Wears Prada” and “101 Dalmatians,” only done poorly.

I could not help but cringe every time Kris referred to her status as the President's sister, like in the scene when she challenged Vice Ganda to a boxing match. “Suntukan? E 'di ipapakulong ako ng kuya mo,” Vice Ganda said to that effect. And Kris screamed her answer in a way that endangered the national eardrums.

When President Benigno C. Aquino III was elected, poet and TV personality Lourd Ernest de Veyra called for the “Separation of Kris and State.” There was a collective national sigh of relief when Kris announced that she was quitting The Buzz, a showbiz gossip-oriented television talk show. I really appreciated that because the last thing the administration of her Kuya Noynoy would need were her embarrassing pronouncements on national television that might jeopardize national sanity and security. Finally, the country would be freed from the irritating voice of Kris Aquino. But of course I was wrong. She quit The Buzz but appeared on other TV shows.

The name James Yap became a standard joke in “Sisterakas.” Kris joking about her failed marriage with this Philippine basketball star is simply bad taste. Deramas should have left this out for this is so unfair to Yap. A failed marriage is not something to laugh about. What they did to James Yap was worse than toilet humor.

I have some advice for Ms. Kris Aquino. Now that the economy of our country is doing well under the presidency of her brother, I think it is time for her to perform a sacrifice, a heroic act even, of setting the country free from her incompetence as a movie actor.

—KG/HS, GMA News

J. I. E. Teodoro is an assistant professor at the departments of Filipino and English at Miriam College in Quezon City. He blogs at jieteodoro.blogspot.com, bantaytvatpelikula.blogspot.com, and literaturanghiligaynon.blogspot.com. The views in this article are the author's own.

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