‘Mañanita’ review: Silent at its best

Director Paul Soriano brings us a silent treatment of a well-known story of the ‘Mañanita’ song propelled by Bela Padilla’s most complicated role to date.

Mañanita is a story of an ex-military sniper who is honorably discharged and accepts a mission that will indefinitely change her life in the attempts to make ends meet. It is a quiet character study of when your life’s purpose is stripped away, but you still pursue it, only to realize that it could kill you.

This is not your typical action film. It is very silent and moving. There are no dialogues needed as you can all see the story deep within its astounding visual sequences. Director Paul Soriano put on all the efforts in the film as this is based on true events as seen on the news. You can see the inspiration of it in the film with everything it tells. This masterpiece is truly one you wouldn’t want to miss. It’s beyond what we typically see in the cinemas nowadays as it is creatively written in a good way thanks to the screenplay of critically-acclaimed filmmaker, Lav Diaz.

Bella Padilla is the perfect choice for the lead role. She is in her both good and complicated role because all of her scenes here showcases herself as a strong character who patiently waits, points a sniper, and submerged in a lot of beers and emotions. There are no spoken words—only ambient sounds. A very good background sound at that.

Even the color grading seems to be foretell the future of its character: almost monochromatic as the scene unfolds to a typical sunrise. The shots are carefully treated with good cinematography that fuses what Paul Soriano and Lav Diaz could actually craft together. It may not be a film for everyone but it somehow will inspire people with its deep silent treatment.

Mañanita is a local film that is so deep in silence and surprisingly great. Without a doubt, it’s an inspiring film that audiences deserve to see.

Directed by Paul Soriano and written by Lav Diaz. Mañanita stars Bella Padilla. Runtime: 100 minutes

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