OTJ: Everyone’s Dark Thoughts in a Filipino Film

There have been times when I feel the urge to write something about the criminals in the news. While I neither condone nor even sympathize with fallen menaces of the society, I always have these thoughts that there is an interesting story behind each crime. However dark it may sound but that thought lingers as I sit on our comfy sofa while the TV shows activity inside the yellow ‘Police Do Not Cross’ line.

What sets the precedence behind a hit? What are the motives? Who are these people caught in a blur by CCTV cameras? How do they live their lives? Or do they have one?  Are they really as calloused as the media portrays them to be? I have so many questions, everything left unanswered, every bit an element of a good story waiting to be told. But as I strain myself to compose and gather the loose ends, someone has beaten me into it. And I willingly concede, it’s no contest.

Eric Matti had it on film. His latest movie On The Job or simply shortened as OTJ was spot on. It has the plot that I wish in a thousand years I would be able to form myself.  Its raw settings and the powerful cast—who played various roles from a lowly jail guard, struggling police officers, gun for hires and intel authorities under a system of deceit and corrupt politics—justified the release of an action film that finally gives everyone a break from the boring Filipino love stories and lousy comedy movies.

The film’s sound reproduction could have been better though. It would have been more striking if the gunshots were as loud and if the other effects sounded clearer. But other than this I have nothing more against it. Eric Matti got my respect. Wifey and I had a great movie date.

OTJ is said to be based on actual events and I bet that nobody who tunes in daily to the news will ever doubt it. The movie fills in the missing pieces of what we already know. OTJ has everyone’s dark thoughts (and paranoia) coming from watching the evening news combined into one great Filipino film. It shows us that in the midst of It’s More Fun In The Philippines campaign and the continuing economic development is an underground world that we all wish does not exist. We can all be in denial and dismiss everything as fiction but until such time corruption in the government prevails and crime rate stays steady, the fact remains that there are protégés out there learning on the job. And no one knows when, where, and who they will hit soon.

***

Mood: 2/10 Honks! (I smell leftover kare-kare.)

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Author: crisn

I'm Cris Nacionales from the Philippines.

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