Iska: Movie Review - Reel Advice Movie Reviews

Saturday, November 21, 2020

Iska: Movie Review

"Iska" was a film that we wanted to love just because it had a solid platform for its social commentary. From abject poverty to the cult-like media personalities that bombard us daily, its message had a solid foundation to make its audience think twice about reality. Sadly, the way it develops the film's narrative had us dumbfounded as it takes too much of an artistic and inefficient crux to deliver its points.
Iska (Ruby Ruiz) works as a photocopy operator in U.P. Diliman and takes weekend side jobs to make ends meet. With her is her drunkard husband and her grandson Dongdong (Pryle Gura) who is a special child. As Iska is diagnosed with hypertension, she contemplates giving away Dongdong to an orphanage as she believes they can better take care of him instead. When Dongdong's application is finally approved, the good news is short-lived as her life unravels when an anonymous and inaccurate tipster labeled her as an abusive grandmother to Dongdong.
"Iska" was a film that greatly suffers from lackluster writing. To sum up our main issue with "Iska", it was a film that lacked focus and it simply felt disjointed from scene to scene. Viewers will be bombarded with societal issues left and right but the film does not provide enough time to develop and mature many of these issues to a satisfying degree. This shotgun approach will certainly land the film some depth but it could have been so much more effective if it could have trimmed down its writing and chose its battles more wisely. The highlight in the film for us was Ruby Ruiz. Her performance was stellar in the sense that she really made her character so real and so authentic even against the backdrop of the film's very forced narrative. While the film wasn't perfect, the final scene of "Iska" leaves a mark. And even with its deficiencies, it should be a film that shows the biggest concerns, fallacies, and injustices in our current society - that in itself has value and should make it an experience a Filipino should give a shot.
Rating: 3 and a half reels





Why you should watch it: 
- authentic and powerful acting from Ruby Ruiz

Why you shouldn't watch it: 
- lacks focus on its messaging as it bombards the viewer with societal problems left and right

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