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Dec 2, 2010
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The 12th Cinemanila Festival premiered yesterday, December 1. Like a breath of fresh air, cinema addicts finally gets a taste of the latest movies that heralded in the industry.

[firstpara] Familiar faces in the local scene were present to support the endeavor festival founder Tikoy Aguiluz has been pushing since the festival first started: Ronnie Lazaro,  Joel Torre, Brillante Mendoza, a very stunning Meryll Soriano.

The festival opened with Taiwanese director Wi Ding Ho’s Pinoy Sunday.

It stars funnymen Epy Quizon and Bayani Agbayani, both of whom have always been comically impressive.

In true The Odd Couple-form, Pinoy Sunday plays out like a quirky buddy film, where nothing seems to go right and the end is never in sight.

If Jack Lemmon and Walter Matthau (may they both rest in peace) saw the film, they’d probably be laughing in their graves.

Pinoy Sunday: the plot
Manuel (Epy Quizon) and Dado (Bayani Agbayani) are OFWs in Taiwan, two factory workers often fearing and dealing with the troubles that comes with deportation.

Dado seeks comfort in his on-the-side lover Anna (Meryll Soriano), while Manuel constantly pursues Celia (Alessandra De Rossi), a chick he met at a Taiwanese bar.

One Pinoy Sunday however would prove to be the case of bad juju for the two, screwing up their respective relationships and their sources of joy in the process. With not much left to look forward to, the frustration grows.

Things start to look up for the duo after discovering an abandoned couch on the side of the road. On that couch, they find the illusions of comfort and home. They decide to take it home with them.

Carrying the couch back to their dorm however proves to be a test of patience and friendship for our jaded heroes, and this is where the chaos ensues.

A Pinoy-branded buddy film set in Taiwan
The movie is full of Pinoy heart despite the fact that a Taiwanese directed it. The brand of comedy is very familiar with its kenkoy one-liners and crazy situations.

The chemistry of Quizon and Agbayani is undeniable. Their rapport in the film will put a smile on your face, especially when things seem to be going the wrong way.

Epy is effective as the petiks, loose canon Manuel and Bayani is more than hilarious. This role will remind you of just how funny he really is without even trying.

The movie deals with isolation and the longing for home, and this is apparent in certain dream sequences where the two imagine the provincial life they've left behind in order to pursue better things for themselves.

Analyzing the film
The couch of course, is a huge metaphor for the obstacles hurdling our protagonists from getting home.

The duality present in the film cannot be overlooked as it is presented in the subtlest manner - the optimist and the skeptic, the aspiration to do better and the failure that comes with trying, and also the burden and the beast that comes with it.

The film doesn’t try to be anything more than what it really is: A story about two friends who just want to catch a break. The absurd nature by which the director presents the story catches the audience offguard and allows the laughter to take over.

Desire and friendship are two of the greatest themes of the universe, the very reason why movies such as this one can be appreciated by anyone.

Pinoy Sunday is a film you should see with a friend just to remind you that when things go down the toilet, there might just be someone who’d dive in there with you.

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WORDS BY ANTON D. UMALI

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