Suma-total, maganda, at entertaining ang ‘Separados (s6parados).‘ Pero panoorin with caution, as you might find yourself in the same situation as the characters in the film, baka lang may awkward moments. Masalimoot ang subject ng movie, pero light ang treatment, at may comic relief din.
SYNOPSIS: The lives of six men undergoing separation from their wives intersect. They are at different stages of their married life, are in different life conditions, and have different reasons for their failed marriages. They converge in a wedding, one of the men’s second chance at a married life.
GENRE: Drama, Comedy
DIRECTOR: Giuseppe Bede “GB” Sampedro
WRITER: GB Sampedro and Enrique V. Ramos
CAST: Victor Neri | Ricky Davao | Jason Abalos | Anjo Yllana | Erik Santos | Alfred Vargas | Ritz Azul | Angel Jacob | Melissa Mendez | Althea Vega | Sharmaine Arnaiz | Iwa Moto | Diana Zubiri | Sue Prado | Menggie Cobarrubias | Cris Pastor | K-La Rivera | Rhea Lim | Jace Flores | Patricia Javier | Katrina Halili | Joel Lamangan
It’s not an original format, we’ve seen this before: several stories develop in parallel and intersect at multiple points. All the storylines unfold, and converge in one big event that serves as the turning point.
In S6parados, the storylines are of six men, who, at different points in their married lives and for vastly different reasons, are in the process of separating from their wives. We meet them one by one, as their stories intersect.
But director GB Sampedro uses this format as an effective tool to tell a story not oft discussed, certainly not in a manner that leaves judgment by the door and does not always put the men at fault. This movie tells us: bad marriages, not bad people, create bad husbands.
The movie highlights these causes of failure in marriage: career, incompatibility in bed, alcoholism, drugs, domestic violence, cheating, religiosity (we’ll get to this later), and the requisite husband-is-gay (this storyline really getting old).
The big event where the storylines overlap is a wedding. It is also a major turning point, as it is one of the character’s second chance at a married life.
The wedding is also used as a very curious plot device for tying up all the stories together. In Filipino culture, where there is no law for divorce and separation is a sin, a church wedding is sacred. We see the wedding progress as the storylines unfold. It begs the question, what does it mean for a culture so gung ho on religiosity and puts premium on carefully planned and executed church weddings, for separation to be so commonplace?
It’s a sad story. The film does not glamorize separation and broken families, but it also does not free the men of accountability. It offers comic relief all throughout, but that only helps the audience keep an open mind and keep judgment at bay. These men failed in marriages, but they are not singularly bad people. They are certainly not bad fathers.
This non-linear story-telling is a slightly complex narrative to navigate, as more characters and sub-plots are introduced as the stories unfold, but the editing really works. The only one time you feel a bump in the continuity was when last story is introduced, when one of the character contacts the call center where one of the men was working.
The ensemble cast plays the characters naturally. Victor Neri and Ricky Davao play two of them men to perfection. Alfred Vargas, Anjo Yllana, and Jason Abalos, as the three other men, give believable performances. Erik Santos, better known as a singer, plays the sixth man, and elicits uncomfortable giggles from the audience as his character is introduced; I suspect it was less because his character is a battered husband, and more because, in a cast of experienced actors, Eric Santos is playing him.
None of the conversations seem forced. There is no hysterical acting here. Melissa Mendez shines as one of the wives. She breaks down, not when she got confirmation that her husband is gay, but when she learned he has a best friend in another woman. Ritz Azul, in her big screen debut, lights up every scene she is in.
One last thing. One vague and unresolved detail in the plot is when a flashback revealed that one of the men got into alcoholism after discovering that his pious wife is having an affair with a priest. The movie seems to be referencing a controversial issue, especially given the aforementioned church wedding, where the priest and his pronouncements are featured prominently. I think it’s an unnecessary, if controversial, detail, and doesn’t help the plot move forward.
Suma-total, maganda at entertaining ang pelikulang ito. Pero panoorin with caution, as you might find yourself in the same situation as the characters in the film, baka lang may awkward moments. Masalimoot ang subject ng movie, pero light ang treatment, at may comic relief din. ♦