"Ataul for Rent" opens in theaters starting November 7


Joel Torre (left) plays Guido, theembalmer and owner of the funeral parlor that rents out coffins to destitutepeople.


JoelTorre stars as the eccentric embalmer in Neal "Buboy" Tan's Ataul for Rent. Inthis indie movie, the plot revolves around a couple who own a funeral parlor thatrents out coffins of four different sizes: small, medium and large and extra-small. Themovie is set in a congested alleyway where the residents are so poor, theycannot not afford caskets for their departed loved ones.

The greedy owner, Guido (Joel Torre), doubles as the embalmer, while hispartner Pining (Jaclyn Jose) does the make-up, using on her dead clients thesame tools she uses on the ones who are still lucky enough to be breathing,earning herself some extra income on the side by acting as the neighborhood'sofficial jueteng collector.

Otherpeople weave in and out of the narrative: Tale, the mother of a drunkardson; Moises, a professional thief married to a nagging wife; Susan, a mother ofthree; Andoy (Denver Olivares), a drug addict whose brother Danny (Coco Martin)is a callboy and snatcher and whose gambling laundrywoman mother, Aling Carmen(Irma Adlawan), loses her tenuous hold on sanity after Andoy is killed by adrug pusher and rival gang leader.

Thesecharacters who inhabit the dark world of Kalyehong Walang Lagusan are played bysome of the finest thespians on stage and in film and television, includingJaclyn Jose and Joel Torre who star as Guido and Pining. Other castmembers are Irma Adlawan, Nonie Buencamino, Pen Medina, Ramon Zamora, TitaSwarding, and The Studs member Coco Martin.

Eventhe newcomers Aleera Montalla and Irish Contreras (who play prostitutes) andDenver Olivares, who stars as Irma's druggie son, turn in noteworthyperformances.

Ataulfor Rentis due to hit local screens starting November 7. The movie is directed by Neal"Buboy" Tan who co-wrote the script with Anthony Gedang, also the film'sexecutive producer. It was graded "A" by the Cinema Evaluation Board, and wasone of three Filipino entries to the 31st Montreal World Film Festival lastAugust 23 to September 3. The two other entries were Brillante Mendoza's FosterChild and Redd Ochoa's Baliw.

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