Kaliwaan Movie Review: A Wasted Opportunity Because of Sex

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Disgusting and gory, the first and last scenes of "Kaliwaan" showed what the film could have been if it decided not to sell out on sex. But alas, like much of VivaMax's slate, the film was heavily-compromised with its decision to revolve around the deed much of the way. While its not as confounding and stupefying as other VivaMax films that came before it, this still is a trashy film not worth a look.

When Boogie (Vince Rillon) sees his girlfriend Monica (AJ Raval) in bed with another man (Juami Gutierrez), he is unable to control his anger and attacks them. In his rampage, the man is critically hurt. Charged with attempted homicide, Boogie seeks the help of his cop uncle (Mark Anthony Fernandez) to help hide from the authorities - which they are able to do. Things get complicated when the family of the man that Boogie attacked decides that they will take justice into their own hands and starts hunting for Boogie relentlessly. 

One of the first things that really bothered us with "Kaliwaan" was what was it trying to say - because at times, it felt like it wanted to build a narrative that actually matters. But nope, like how it failed to make us know and care about its characters, its story from start to finish was littered with good ideas but with lackluster execution and no follow through. If we could choose one good thing about "Kaliwaan" then it will be its cinematography. Director Daniel Palacio showed what he was capable of in this film with various shots that impressed us. These scenes, while beautiful to look at and meticulously crafted, lacked the narrative substance to back them up making some scenes feel too long. Curiously, with Irma Adlawan being cast in this film, her acting prowess further highlighted how the younger lead cast was also one of the key reasons why the characters here were half-baked. Beyond the writing issues that impacted characterization, the performances of AJ Raval and Vince Rillon in particular were stale and even laughable at times and they simply lacked chemistry. If we could pick an actor that really surprised us, it would be Mark Anthony Fernandez who had the bravado and charisma to be the dirty cop uncle who knows no moralities. "Kaliwaan" will make you feel uncomfortable in its best moments but these were few and far between. Limited by its incessant need to have sexy scenes, this is another VivaMax release you should avoid.

Rating: 1 reel


Why you should watch it:
- at its best moments, this film was disgusting and gory

Why you shouldn't watch it:
- bad writing due to its need to have sexy scenes
- stale and lukewarm acting from its leads
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