Brilliante Mendoza’s CAPTIVE: First Impressions

Brilliante Mendoza’s CAPTIVE: First Impressions

Last August 18, at the Podium Cinema, I was one of the selected few to have the pleasure of viewing renowned indie-director, Brilliante Mendoza’s critically acclaimed film, Captive.

Isabelle Huppert as Therese Bourgoine in Captive

Now, I don’t usually watch a lot of local cinema because usually when I do I tend to leave the cinema more disappointed than when I got in. You see, I always try and root for our guys but most local movies tend to be really formulatic (if not downright cheesy) with cardboard cut-out characters and acting chops that seem to rely on angled smiles and poses, that, sadly, seem to work well with the a broader audience. They do the same thing over and over, changing names, some scenario and Song Lyric titles but yes, it’s that Rom-Com-Dramady that produces viral one-liners and being quoted endlessly.

The only films that really try to push the boundaries of Philippine Cinema are found in Indie (and sparingly in Film Fests Competition). But even the indie industry has been riddled with soft-porn-like treatment or really bad production that one tends to just lump it all off in a big pile of messy meh.

Enter Brilliante Mendoza (Serbis, Kinatay, Lola) and his string of work. Creating thought-provoking cinema that has earned him more than one trip to international film festivals in Cannes, Venice and Germany having won some of the most prestigious awards the international film circuit, Philippine Cinema tends to shine a little brighter.


So when were invited to be part of an intimate screening with no less than 50 people with the Director and Producer on board we were more than thrilled.

So why be captivated with Captive? Well to start of this may be Brilliante Mendoza’s most accessible work. It’s not just the subject matter but literally the film will be distributed on a nationwide scale, thanks to Star Cinema’s support.

Aside from this, it is also Brilliante Mendoza’s most expensive film to date. The budget alone can go toe-to-toe with mainstream local movies and yet give you a production that seems more. The effects used (either physical or computer generated) is one of the best seen in a local movie. And it’s not even Manila Film Fest time yet!

Captive is the dramatic interpretation and retelling of the infamous 2001 Abu Sayyaf Dos Palmas kidnapping that lead to the death of 2 US citizens namely Guillermo Sobero and Martin Burnham, a missionary.

Although the names were changed, and a fictional character was introduced in the form of Award-Winning French Actress Isabelle Huppert, Captive stays true to gripping human-drama that unfolded throughout that grueling 18-month ordeal. And much to the director’s credit, even with a bigger budget, and a star-studded cast who form the kidnappers, the military and the hostages themselves, he keeps the film close to ground which keeps the audience (smirk) captive with each scene.

We’ll give you guys a full review once the movie hits the theaters on September 5.

Check out these teaser trailers:


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