Ploning (2008): 2/5
In a picturesque town in Palawan called Cuyo, where perfect Coca-Cola moments are captured on 35mm film (ahem product placement ahem) there lives a mysterious woman Ploning, whose name is where the movie’s title derives from and centers on. Judy Ann Santos plays the title role and town belle Ploning (for which some odd reason everyone in the town of Cuyo desires) and delivers the Cuyonon dialect with very careful speech-like enunciation and utmost emotional repression.
‘Ploning’ is a case where the visuals (although gorgeously captured) do nothing much for the story (there isn’t much to tell anyway). The marriage of tourism and film seems to be the trend nowadays, as we watch every aspect of the Cuyonon lifestyle – a little bit too much that sometimes a Palawan AVP comes to mind.
While we blatantly learn of life’s “lessons” through the cashew nut metaphor, every dragging sermon and spoon-fed clichéd virtues on love and hope makes this 80+ minute film seem double its length. Towards the end of the film is a Juno-esque finale in a highly laughable flashback scene with Ploning finally showing emotion through tears reminiscent of the Mara Clara soaps that Juday fans will be glad to witness.