Virgin Forest: Movie Review

Virgin Forest Movie Review: This Forest Needs to Be Trimmed Down Severely

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Brillante Mendoza's "Virgin Forest" had the seeds to actually become an interesting watch. Beyond its sexual side, there was some meat here about abuse of power and abuse of nature. But alas, this film just had too much excesses at the end of the day. Too much sex, too much flair, too many characters, too many logical loopholes that it was barely watchable even at its most dramatic and most intimate moments.

When a photographer (Sid Lucero) is invited to Dolores, Bukidnon by its mayor, he is tasked to take a picture of the world's largest flower to boost the tourism potential of the small town. To help him find these flowers, the photographer is accompanied by a local guide (Vince Rillon) who knows the forest trails well. But as the tow go deeper within the thick forest, the local guide doesn't seem to be as trust-worthy as he seemed to be.

There's this scene in "Virgin Forest" that diwatas (or fairies) ravish Sid Lucero's character. It was shocking, it was bombastic, it was artistic and we actually loved it. "Virgin Forest" could have been a mystical and mystifying romp through nature mixing art, sex, politics in a unique way. But unfortunately, we only get a handful of glimpses of its potential as the majority of the film turned out to be generic and tasteless. At the core of the issues for "Virgin Forest" was its laughable writing. The story was a mish-mash of ideas that never really gel well. At its worst, the film just didn't make a lot of sense. For example, a specific diwata (played by Micaella Raz) punishes those who abuse the forest and its inhabitants but for some reason, she never did anything to the long-term illegal loggers, the rapists, and the conmen who had been abusing her turf for god knows how long. The only real saving grace for us was Sid Lucero with his strong acting performance especially given the half-baked material he had to work with. Outside some beautifully-shot scenes and basic thought-provoking plot devices, "Virgin Forest" has not much too offer wanting more than carnal pleasures.

Rating: 1 reel

Why you should watch it:
- Sid Lucero had a strong performance
- some scenes were beautifully-shot and showed what could have been with a lot more TLC

Why you shouldn't watch it:
- ridiculous writing that didn't make sense and didn't gel together
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