Putahe: Movie Review

Putahe Movie Review: Potentially tasteful if only it made an effort to have completos recados

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"Putahe" by Roman Perez Jr. surprises us with its ability to balance out its sensual and thrilling elements. This film made us care and connect with the residents of Isla Pwerta - which we didn't expect given the sensual nature of "Putahe". But alas, this was just a taste of what could have been because its narrative was just disjointed, jarring, and lacked polish. 

An isolated island in the very outskirts of the Philippines is in dire need of luck as they haven't caught much recently due to overfishing of foreigners. But when the beautiful and seductive Euka (Janelle Tee) arrives in the island, their luck starts to turnaround. The men in particular find much-needed motivation through Euka's cooking - and maybe more. Sixteen year old Jenny (Ayanna Misola) takes an interest with Euka and the two form a special bond. As the two get to know each other more, Jenny finds out the real motivations why Euka has come to an island that no one really wants to go to.

From its title alone, "Putahe" was a film that was a play on double meanings. Basically, food and sex intermix to make this much more than a flyby night dumb porn flick. We do admit that "Putahe" still had a few sex scenes that just pop out of nowhere but we appreciated the effort to make most of its sensual scenes have a semblance of rhyme or reason. People here do not have sex out of the blue and even the most mundane sex scene has something to say to the audience. Ayanna Misola and Janelle Tee stood out on both positive and negative lights. Both leads had great chemistry with each other and with the other cast but both were also limited by their amateurish acting abilities early in their careers. The veteran cast didn't disappoint with Mon Confiado and Ron Lazaro leading the way but the writing didn't give them much material to work on. Speaking of its writing, this is where "Putahe" falls apart. The film had potential to be something extraordinary but the characters and narrative were developed sparingly. Its writing was half-cooked and rushed and just didn't stick with us due to this.      

Rating: 1 and a half reels

Why you should watch it:
- while the mysterious backstory of Euka wasn't developed well, it added a lot of intrigue into the characters
- the sex scenes are actually made in taste here

Why you shouldn't watch it:
- there's no denying that the film failed to build its story and revelations well
- half-baked potential meant that it was still frustrating overall 
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