Can you imagine a staright-faced Gloria Diaz saying the line: “Tumatayo ang b*lb*l ko sa iyo…”
This is just one of her hilarious lines in the 2017 Cinema One Originals film fest entry Si Chedeng at si Apple.
The movie directed by Fatrick Tabada and Rae Red is absurd and hilarious. Sure, it fails to meet technical polish at times, but the film is very entertaining that you let the flaws pass.
Gloria Diaz and Elizabeth Oropesa are the lead stars of Si Chedeng at si Apple. They are life-long friends who embark on a journey to find a lost love after committing a heinous crime.
When Apple (Elizabeth) kills her abusive live-in partner in an act of self-defense, she asks her friend Chedeng (Gloria) to help her dispose of the body. To escape the authorities, the two travel to Cebu to find Chedeng's former lesbian love, Lydia Cantilla.
THE BAD. The movie's plot, though easy to follow, makes little sense.
For example, the two old women are able to completely dismember an adult's body in one night, fit it inside a suitcase, which they burn in Cavite, then come back to clean the house of blood. I don't think all of that can be accomplished in one night.
The act of murder is swept under the rug and the protagonists carry on with their merry lives.
Apple chooses to carry her former lover's head around in a luxury bag, and she escapes security due to a ridiculous coincidence (ex machina). She is even able to have it taxidermied and injected with formalin, and there is no explanation how someone can agree to do it for her.
Chedeng has an unlimited source of poison--she nearly poisons her husband, but doesn't, then poisons a mouse, and succeeds. Later on, she still has this vial of poison for the police, who has taken Apple captive. Then as they are escaping, Chedeng says she hasn't poisoned them. What is it, really?
THE GOOD. The problems with the story are easy to dismiss because they ramp up the laughs. Sure, some scenes lack logic, but they are very funny so you don't really care.
What's good about Si Apple at si Chedeng's humor is that the jokes, even if ridiculous, are rooted in characters that feel tangible, thanks to the strong performances of Elizabeth Oropesa and Gloria Diaz.
In one scene, Gloria even forgets the name of her lesbian lover yet they continue shooting when Elizabeth helps her along.
Even the supporting characters acted well. Mae Paner, who won the Best Supporting Actress award, is comical as Alex, Chedeng's supposed lost beau. The political activist even agreed to bare her breast on the big screen just for laughs.
Sheenly Gener is brilliant as a bored young woman looking for revenge. She also has plenty of laugh-out-loud moments with the dismembered private part of her father.
Jay Gonzaga is captivating as the stud that charms Apple's pants off.
Because the characters are relatable, the ridiculous jokes get grounded in reality. It is easy to believe that they can happen in real life, so you just laugh along.
THE WORTHY. Ultimately, Si Apple at si Chedeng is a dark, raunchy comedy that's unapologetic about its flaws.
The gags were so funny that during the screening that we attended, the laughter of the audience overpowered the dialogue of the stars on the big screen.
You'll laugh your head off so see it while you can.
Si Apple at si Chedeng is one of the entries in the 2017 Cinema One Originals film festival that is ongoing until November 21 at Trinoma, Glorietta, Gateway, U.P. Cine Adarna, Cinema 76, and Cinematheque Kalaw. There is an extended run from November 22 to 28 at the Rockwell Power Plant Mall and Black Maria Theater in Mandaluyong.
Ed's Note: The "PEP Review" section carries the views of individual reviewers, and does not necessarily reflect the views of the PEP editorial staff.