Rosario

While it is entirely fascinating to have a period film showing in the Metro Manila Film Festival after a long time, to which some are remarking where cheapskate movies are shown, where one star bags two distinct awards (i.e. Dolphy winning Best Actor and Best Supporting Actor), and where it is ridiculously officiated by a government traffic enforcement agency, it may have still failed. Some say it’s the lack of research (which you will see an excerpt of a fashion review below), from dresses to props to hats. Some say it’s in the storytelling. Some say some characters (and actors!) are overrated. My take is: given those reasons, I would say, the movie is just average. However, these kind of films, which can actually be brought outside the country, and give the Filipino filmmaking industry a laurel, should be polished and pushed to excellence. In these kind of films, it’s either you make it, or you break it. Limbo is next to breaking it. So no, Rosario did not make it.

Rosario is a story of a rich woman (Jennylyn Mercado), full of her youth, who came back from New York, and also who found true love in the character of her father’s most trusted worker (Yul Servo). As punishment for a shameful act, she lost the old, wealthy living she had. She eloped, however, and formed a family of her own. It wasn’t smooth still as along the way she met some people and made wrong, fateful decisions, and she had suffered for all of these. All these unfold in the words of her youngest son (played by Dolphy).

That’s all I can tell. I would not say much but all I know is that Rosario could have been better. It has a good plot, a good story to start with, and very good actors to portray it. It just lacked in many things. Rosario, you almost made it. There are some good points, but apparently they drowned in the bad ones. I hope this becomes a lesson though.

***

Premiere Filipino Milliner Mich Dulce’s Hat (and Fashion) Review of Rosario:

Before I begin, let me start with one image.

From @alexeivee’s twitter:
Lol.

I had been looking forward to watching Rosario since I first saw the trailer on Chuvaness.
I love period films and was so excited to see the beautiful trailer on her blog.
I am not a film maker nor a film expert so I cannot review the actual film.
I did enjoy it though and thought it was beautifully shot and worth watching.
Jennylyn Mercado was a surprise – she was beautiful and I loved watching her. It was a far cry from the only other time i ever saw her act which was as a Lara Croft impostor in Quark’s Super Noypi (Sorry Q)
Some friends said it was a slow film, but I didn’t think so. I loved the color of the film, the mood was so vintage and I was impressed by the locations – i didn’t even know places like that still existed.  Personally I think Albert Martinez did a great job.

And that’s it for my film review, as like I said,  Im in no position to do them.

But if there are 2 things i do know, its period costume and millinery (thats hat making to you)
That is why you have to excuse the profanity on my twitter account the other day.
Seeing ugly hats is like feeding a good cook bad food, it’s what I do. As someone who makes hats, it hard for me to ignore.

The thing about period films is that its not a matter of taste anymore, its all about research to keep it authentic.  It’s not everyday you get the chance to do a Filipino film with such production value and it would have been wonderful to see it done right.  This isn’t Pokwang on Wowowee or Ai Ai in Ang Tanging Ina. This could have been the opportunity to show Manila what hats were originally meant for – glamour and style, not a joke or something to be funny on a noontime show that hats seem to be about in today’s society.  I could go on and on about how hats in that period were a part of daily life and not occasion wear, but instead i will lead you to a beautiful article about hats by the wonderful Susie Bubble. My point is, such a film could have been an opportunity to rekindle the love for hats we once had, yet instead it made a milliner like me nearly vomit in my mouth for its inaccurate portrayal.

I hereby present to you the most painful hat moments in Rosario, from someone who lives and breathes hats.  Consider it an intro to millinery history.

1. Rosario’s First Scene

This was the first shot of Rosario in the film, and yet instead of looking at Rosario all i saw was over styling with bad hats and cheap accessories.  Not the best way to start a film.
This is the only photo i could find of the first hat.

I was so offended by the cheap gray Carolina’s brooch and too many fake cheap necklaces.
For someone who came from Nueva York, she sure owns a lot of accessories from China.

2. Dinner party Scene

This was THE most painful scene to watch.
Why?
First of all, a guide to 1920’s hats

1920s Pictures of Hat & Hair Styles

1920s Hat Pictures 1920s Hat Styles
1922 Hat Styles 1923 to 1925 Hat Styles
1920s - 1930 Hat & Hair Styles 1927 Hats

As you can see, an easy way to distinguish 1920s headgear is a concealed forehead.
The sinamay fascinators that were used in the party were not around until the late 1940s.

Same goes for the type of hat worn in the wedding montage.

I think I don’t need to explain why this is a bad hat. the picture is enough.

Let it be know that Gilda Cordero Fernando has confirmed that there were no feather boas worn in the Philippines during that time, as seen in the dinner party scene.

3. High Cloche

This was the most beautiful hat of the bunch however, it was a waste that it was worn the wrong way.

To quote Cher in Clueless, “Been shopping with Doctor Seuss?”

It looks semi decent in this photo but in the film, it was worn over hair so hard that she could not pull it down.

Here’s the proper way to wear a cloche

A cloche is supposed to be worn with the brim close to the eyebrows.
Here’s another ugly hat that just doesn’t cut it

You know you should try pet society on facebook. That hat is available for your pet on it too.

4. The Tabora Hat

I wish this hat looked as stunning in this photo in the film but it didn’t, it looked like a make shift one that would be alright in school plays, not a full length big screen film.

What it really looked like:

I call it the Tabora hat because of this tweet I tweeted while i was watching the film at the cinema.
And I have proof that I speak the truth, except hindi pala sha sa harap ng Bon Yee, sa harap sha ng Pacific Textile Trading.
On Ryan and Garovs of EverywhereWeShoot:

I swear I saw these hats on extras as well.

As someone who once did costume design for film, I completely understand budget problems in Philippine cinema but I have one simple solution:

Lose the freakin hats completely! No hats is better than chaka hats!

The styling completely got better when they were poor as the ugly hats disappeared. Its a pity that they forced the makeshift hats, there were some beautiful outfits in the film that would have been better kept simple. I loved the gorgeous belos at all the church scenes, the scene where she went to the piano recital and this amazing robe:

Jennylyn has the most classic face I have ever seen and the make up really worked for her. I wish I could say the same makeup wise for Ara Mina and Isabel Oli, though Isabel looked and dressed amazing before she turned into a slutty Rosario rip off.
I have to give props to the costume designer for her attention to the shoes, they were perfect for the era and it was great to that effort. Lazy stylists think that shoes authenticity isn’t a big deal and I really appreciated the T strap shoes. Also, its not easy to dress a ton of extras, and I suppose if I looked past the error hats and feather boas,then they probably would fit in.

Without the hats, the styling wasn’t all that bad.  Some of it was great. It just lacked editing.
So please someone keep this guy under control. Kakahiya ang immaturity!

Sabay bawi, panindigan mo nalang noh.

Funny how a Z list celeb self proclaimed fashionista reality show failure also happens to be an international award winning designer schooled in three continents who knows what she’s talking about.  Your so called ‘stupid blogger’ just won blogger of the year, was streetwear designer of the year in 2000 and studied Fashion Design in Parsons and knows her stuff too.  I suggest you try google before you make your assumptions about people, I highly doubt that my CV will disappoint.

Funny how the world works indeed.

Anyone who accepts a job as big as a film festival period film should be open to criticism.  In fact that goes for any job! There are merits to the costume designer’s work and there were some beautiful outfits, and there are also those that didn’t work.  Deal with it and learn from your mistakes, they will make you stronger.

xx
m

P.s.
For future big budget period films, may I recommend Gino Gonzales?
He is the most amazing production designer I have ever met, and he knows his stuff.
Plus I don’t think he has a boyfriend who can’t take criticism and will leave a foul taste in your mouth about a film you actually enjoyed and recommended to people.
Yun lang poe.

***

I can’t help but to reblog the whole entry, it was that good. I hope Ms. Dulce won’t mind.

Hoping for more good Filipino films,
Jonver

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