Ang Babae Sa Septic Tank is no less than a wicked satirical film about three ambitious independent filmmakers making an award-winning, box-office hit indie movie. But really? How do you make an award-winning, box-office hit indie movie?

1.  You Need to Have A “Socially Relevant” Story

You cannot just do a movie without any social relevance most especially if you’re situated in a third world country. Well, it’s not that I’m blaming our country for being third world or that one has to be in third world to do a movie. But one of the advantages of being in a country like the Philippines is that there are lots of venues for artists’ to tackle social issues through their crafts.

In the independent cinema it’s almost as always the “poverty” issue that is being exposed. But in the indie film, Ang Babae Sa Septic Tank, the becoming-overrated-genre of poverty porn was given a fresh twist as it does not directly aim to expose poverty.

Yes, poverty-stricken people, shanties, mountains of garbage and even shit were present all throughout the movie but these elements only served as the background of a story that was, is and will never be about poverty. Even so, the Ang Babae Sa Septic Tank delivers a socially relevant story through a shamelessly poverty-laden inset film entitled “Walang Wala”. . .

2. The Right Actors

In the quest to produce the film “Walang Wala”, we find the protagonists, Rainier (Kean Cipriano), producer Bingbong (JM de Guzman) and production assistant Jocelyn brainstorm inside a coffee shop. From there we are zapped into the production assistance’s imagination while Bingbong and Rainier argues who’s better for the role of Mila.

The transition from Eugene Domingo, Cherry Pie Picache and Mercedes Cabral, all thought to be playing the role of Mila was one of the best part in the movie. It also proved that it’s not always who’s better that should be consider, they just needed the right actor to do the role and everything(say, someone?) will fall into its right place.

As for the film itself, the actors performances are commendable that we could say Chris Martinez and Marlon Rivera had the right actors to bill in Ang Babae Sa Septic Tank. Kean Cipriano could act well! He’s a discovery. 🙂

3. Magnificent Lead Star

Ang Babae Sa Septic Tank is a Eugene Domingo movie. From her supporting roles on tv and movie, Eugene Domingo successfully emerges from a commediene to what she ought to be entitled – an actress! Pak na Pak! Pang-BEST ACTRESS lang!

4.  Musical

Filipino movies were once known for its ridiculously funny dance and musical numbers. Now it’s back in a silly Broadway-like way! A musical re-imagination of Walang Wala which turned out outrageously funny. You have to see ‘SABAW’.

5. Shaky Camera

“The Shakier the Better” – exclaimed the director, Bingbong. I usually can’t stand shaky camera effects on movies. It makes me dizzy. But in Ang Babae Sa Septic Tank  they used both handheld and steady cam so I have nothing against the shakes. The script also demands for it most especially in the scene where Walang Wala was re-imagined as a docudrama movie. The shaking gives an artistic docu feel on the film which makes it more realistic. I think it’s great.

6. Commercialization

Despite being major the problem in our local film industry, I never thought commercialization can be shamelessly delivered in a film without insulting its audience. Martinez and Rivera succeeds on that!

7. Scene Stealers

Before anything else, there are two scene stealers in this film. First is the close-mouthed prod assistant Jocelyn portrayed by Cai Cortez. She may have only spoken a couple of “Ha-ha” when she laughed on a particular scene but her role remained significant after all. And yes, she stole the scene when she SCREEEEEEEEEEEAAAAAMED!

Second scene stealer is  Arthur Poongbato, that chub thick-faced director/fuckn asshole who spoiled the day of our three lead characters. I believe he should be given an award for being convincingly annoying. He deserves something like, an EXPRESSO.

8. Obvious Flaws

Like many other films, the movie Ang Babae Sa Septic Tank has its flaws and weaknesses. Some could be determined in the editing, some were also intentionally done to make the audience laugh and some had me disappointed. But the major problem is, this film doesn’t have a definite story.

9.  Realizations

After the car was dismantled by the squatters and our three main lead were saddened. We are reminded that too much happiness can sometimes end up in sorrow and that in reality we’re living in a third world country with people who are willing to do anything to survive.

10. Epic Ending!

Because of the weak foundation in the story, Ang Babae Sa Septic Tank ended abruptly. But the ending was a killer that  it made everyone hold their breaths when the one and only Eugene Domingo fell into the Septic Tank! EPIC!

That’s it, that’s how you make an award-winning, box-office hit indie movie! Here’s yet another Filipino film to celebrate.