Corazon Ang Unang Aswang is arguably a good film. You may have read other reviews prior this, most of which are lambasting Corazon but we just want to have an open minded approach to the story. The film is good for those who have the eyes for cinematography and those who won’t budge with what others say. I’m referring to those who raised their brows when everyone (in the theater) laughed because of some weird but actually convincing screams from Corazon, cheesy and ambiguous dialogue between characters and ludicrous make-up. Those were forgivable, but the story – not at all.
Corazon Ang Unang Aswang is obviously a case of style over substance. One may say that the story is a shallow approach on the Aswang Myth as it did not wholly shed light to any supernatural elements and they might just be right. But based on my own personal understanding, the film is a deep reflection on human nature, faith and the society. It’s all about how we could become monsters of our own and how people and beliefs can greatly change us.
Yes, while we believe it would have been better if Corazon did really turn into a shape-shifting monster. We must accept that Aswangs are just a pigment of our imagination. So as the movie in one respect, but this isn’t less than an impossible account of an Aswang story. It actually felt like a centuries-old take on the infamous urban legend “Maria Labo”. The only difference is Maria Labo had been given powers and Corazon was a crazy woman. I hate to break it to those who hasn’t watch but Corazon Ang Unang Aswang is crazy as hell she’s really gonna make you shiver with a fright. Erich Gonzales did very well on her portrayal as Corazon.
I know that Somes was trying to make something believable. Something that may actually happen to us as the result would then be supported by some freakin rule of nature. He actually succeeded on that but it still ends up as though the Aswang Legend hasn’t been justified. It would turn out that “Ang Unang Aswang”, Corazon, just happens to be a lunatic. How come Aswangs were thought to be the ruthless creatures of darkness? (When she’s been fighting with conscience all along?) How come they’re said to have hairy appearance, sharp teeth, claws and ugly faces (When she was all plain human?). You may argue that Corazon and her life story was just a representation of the existence of Aswangs. And if ever an Aswang exists they’re nothing but crazy bitches. But if only Somes didn’t get rid of the supernatural element – it would have been a great movie. Say, let darkness have a superficial representation and make it the cause of how Corazon became psychological disturbed. Let darkness envelop Corazon’s morality and in the end turn her into a monster. Only then would the real Aswang Legend be justified.
But then, the ending was forced. The movie is a mix of psychological thriller, horror, drama, romance and unintentional dark comedy. It’s a dark film in the end of the day, but the ending wasn’t suitable to all what the film featured. It was way too good for a tragic movie. But. . but.
That, however is exactly like how director Richard V. Somes intended it to be. A simple, straightforward, but above all with beautifully shot scenes and well directed movie.