10,000 Hours

R-13 | Filipino, Drama | Release Date: December 25, 2013

Director: Joyce Bernal
Starring: Robin Padilla, Michael de Mesa, Mylene Dizon, Bella Padilla, Pen Medina, Carla Humphries, Cholo Barreto

10,000 Hours' big win at the 39th Metro Manila Film Festival (MMFF) definitely raised curiosity among moviegoers. The film took home most of the coveted awards - Best Director, Best Actor, Best Picture, the FPJ Memorial Award for Film Excellence & the Gat Puno Antonio Villegas Cultural Award. 

Year 2010, Sen. Gabriel Molino Alcaraz (Robin Padilla) is about to spill the details of a pork barrel scam implicating Pres. Genoviva Martinez Obrero (Bibeth Orteza). But the senator gets pinned on an alleged 1986 rub out case instead and his NBI director friend gets killed trying to warn him of the plan to arrest him. Sen. Alcaraz escapes with the help of a brash news reporter Maya Limchauco (Bela Padilla), eluding authorities led by Gen. Dante Cristobal (Michael de Mesa). He becomes a fugitive and goes into hiding in Amsterdam. A Filipino expatriate, Isabelle Manahan (Carla Humphries), shelters the senator and helps him find Salvador Jago (Pen Medina), the man who could clear his name. Back home, the family (Mylene Dizon, Cholo Barreto, Markki Stroem, Winwyn Marquez) falls into despair from the backlash of the senator's controversial escape.

Although the film ends with a disclaimer that the events depicted are entirely fictional, it was obviously inspired by real-life political affairs. The title 10,000 Hours refers to the number of hours Sen. Alcaraz was on the lam - that's one year, one month, and one week. It's loosely based on (and I'd say, the closest to) Sen. Panfilo "Ping" Lacson's story when he fled the country years ago.

Sure, I judged it too soon because of Robin Padilla. Ooops! But apart from the ludicrous premise of a virtuous politician & Amsterdam depicted as boring, the movie was actually good. 

I had my preconceived notion of the action star, but Robin Padilla is convincing as the lawmaker and gave the role plenty of acting cred that it didn't matter anymore. Padilla's performance had the right subtle and subdued quality needed for the character. The rest of the cast did incredible too, they definitely delivered. Bela Padilla, first time on the big screen, was natural in her role as a prick. Mylene Dizon's gun pointing and shooting was badass for a senator's wife. Pen Medina's authentic cussing. Michael de Mesa's big dilemma between enforcing the law and preserving a friendship. I was ready to give Cholo Barreto, Markki Stroem, & Wynwyn Marquez who played Padilla's children some slack because it was probably their first time acting, but I was pleasantly surprised by their acting chops & range. And Carla Humphries, God, Carla Humphries! Uh-uhm. Even Antonio Aquitania, in his short role, was gold in this movie.

Bb. Joyce Bernal didn't disappoint! An action-drama master work by the director who's more known for rom-com movies; this was her first full-feature action film in fact. 

I'm not saying it's because this movie was directed by a woman, because that's just sexist, but you won't find violent, bloody action scenes here or the nervous suspense of On The Job (OTJ). LOL. But like OTJ, this film says a lot too about the Philippine government.

The girls collectively did all the heavy lifting for the movie though, acting-wise and production-wise. 10,000 Hours was mainly backed by a female crew. The film's score by Teresa Barrozo. Screenplay by Ryllah Epifania Berico and Keiko Aquino. Cinematography by Marissa Floreindo. Film editing by Marya Ignacio. 

10,000 Hours deserved the A-rating given by the Film Evaluation Board. 

But, oh, I remembered! The most ridiculous part of 10,000 Hours was that there were CCTVs in NAIA Terminal 3. 

RATING: 9/10


encef said...

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