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Mano Po 6: A Mother's Love: Movie Review

"Mano Po" is a series that has always touted to be a showcase of the intricate Filipino-Chinese culture. While we agree on some end that the first few films portrayed this in a good (but not really accurate) manner, the latter movies feel uninspired and pushed too much to be a Filipino-Chinese story. Unbelievably, they have found a storyline to justify a sixth film. "Mano Po 6: A Mother's Love" promises to be a look into the unrequited love of a mother. But we beg to differ and are rather skeptical - do we really need this to be a "Mano Po" to have such a story? Lucky for us, we got an advanced look during the celebrity premiere. Read on to find out if "Mano Po 6" deserves its moniker and can it bring home the goods in this year's Metro Manila Film Festival.

Melinda Uy (Sharon Cuneta) is a billionaire widow who started from nothing and ended up becoming one of the most influential women in the country. However, things weren't always so perfect for Melinda. She always felt like an outcast because she is half Filipino and half Chinese. When she married Alfonso (Christopher de Leon), her Chinese in-laws deemed her to be unlucky. When Alfonso dies suddenly, Melinda is forced to live with her in-laws along with her children. Alfonso's family didn't treat her well, and they eventually take all her children away from her, all except for Carol (Ciara Sotto). Melinda has struggled to fix her relationship with all of her children especially with Stephanie (Heart Evangelista). Can Melinda ever fix her life and bring her family together again?

Overall, "Mano Po 6" is a lackluster attempt. The story was a mishmash of ideas that failed to be presented in a cohesive way. The film could have definitely skimped on some of its numerous characters - no offense to John Manalo or Nicole Uysiuseng but we feel the movie could have lived without them. There were also a lot of unnecessary mini plot holes. If characters and the story were streamlined, it could have made the movie more interesting and less dragging. A lot of ongoings on screen will make you scratch your head in disbelief on why it was included or even passed the chopping board. Bottom line is, we were disappointed with Joel Lamangan's work here. The only good thing we can really think about is the acting especially from Sharon Cuneta and Zsa Zsa Padilla (early favorites for acting awards?). Their fight scene near the end was worth it. It could even rival the famous "You're nothing but a second-rate, trying hard copycat" of Cherie Gil. In the end, the plot does not justify a Filipino-Chinese setting - this could have happened to any family, Chinese, Filipino or any other race and the truth is, we feel that the "Mano Po" series needs to retire for good. We couldn't help but feel that the series is becoming a line of movies wherein they put in so many popular actors together in one film and put them in a Chinese family setting, without much relation with Chinese culture and values.

Rating: 1.5 reels





Why you should watch it:
- the acting was spectacular
- flashbacks were well-paced making the story more interesting than it really is

Why you shouldn't watch it:
- a lot of unnecessary scenes, plot holes and useless characters
- a mediocre attempt for a series that has just gone on too long
- does not justify a Filipino-Chinese setting


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