In Brillante Mendoza’s Kinatay, the genius lies in the director’s intention—and success—in transplanting our collective minds into the punto de vista of his main character, making us all witnesses in the gruesome crime that saw the body of a prostitute chopped up and distributed all over the place. It seemed like having a psychic-celluloid connection with Coco Martin’s Peping, because for some cussing reason, he asks the questions boggling us during the right moments. It’s insane. We feel his emotions; we have the same visceral reactions. I don’t think we have ever had a cinematic experience like this.
But then, the dichotomy between Peping and us becomes apparent towards the end of the film, because of a choice the character makes. At this point we feel that we don’t know him anymore, or whether we like him still. This is probably why people have this extreme love-or-hate stance with this film. It’s either we understand what Peping did, or we despise his decision.
What a movie. R. Sedricke Lapuz