These are but some of the movies that made the name for Director Brillante Ma. Mendoza. Aside from receiving various praises and accolades from different film festivals around the world, these movies left a distinctive mark in the Philippine movie industry. All of them showcased the rather obvious, but oftentimes neglected themes that are so close to every Filipinos hearts, so close we become all too familiar with it. Poverty, corruption, the filthy, the dark side of Filipino reality. these are trademarks normally equated with the name Brillante Mendoza.
But at the start of 2016, another side of the filmmaker that is Direk Dante was exposed at the launch of ' Si Dante at si Max', a collection of 4 heartwarming stories that embody the values of every Juan and shared by the Filipino brand that has been trusted for years for it's succulent fried chicken--Max's Restaurant. held at SM Aura's Cinema 1, the special screening was attended by members of the advertising industry, colleagues from film, and some blogger/writers.
According to the director, the 4 stories were meticulously chosen to show not just heartwarming stories from the resto's staff, but also stories that every Filipino can relate to and would definitely warm their hearts. One of the aims of the said series, according to the award winning director, was to target different aspects of being a Filipino, in the same way Max's has become a part of almost every Filipino celebration that we can think of.
First on the list is 'Tagpuan', a poignant tale of an elderly woman who came to the resto to enjoy a meal, but got herself moe than what she had bargained for. in every corner of the resto, there would be scenarios of her own happy memories with her husband, immortalized by the delicious food that they both enjoy.
Next was 'Kasal', wherein tears of both laughter and pain overflow. A couple can be seen celebrating their wedding reception at a Max's branch. While everyone was sending their well wishes, one of the waitress failed to hide her tears as she remembered her former boyfriend and their love story that never ended in a church wedding. The final scene was the most memorable of them all, and could surely challenge those who believe ' Walang Forever! '.
Third film to be shown was about a young girl who'll be celebrating her 'Debut' and the unwavering love of her father, who happens to be a kitchen crew in Max's. Nothing fancy for the 18th birthday, but the movies shows how far a father would go just to make her daughter really happy. According to Direk Dante, this remains to be the closest to his heart not only because he is a father like the main character shown, but also because her wonderful daughter played the debutante in the short film.
The last of the four was a music video inspired short film entitled 'Rider'. This one is full of life, dance and color, just like how colorful a rider's (delivery boy) day is. If you grew up in the 90's like me, am sure this one's all too familiar, but the cute part? the narrative progressed through the Pinoy rap that plays all throughout that short film.
According to Direk Dante, these types of production are not new to him. For someone who has his own fair share of producing popular TV ads, choosing stories that warm our hearts was not as daunting as it supposed to be. He even added that the previous tv ads of Coco Martin for Max's were under his wing. When asked if there will be additional short films like these for Max's, the director smiled and said 'just wait and see.'
The first movie has been rolled out already in social media, and the rest will be shown in the next coming months. According to Max's Restaurant, these films are not about them as a brand, but a celebration of the warmth and joys of being Filipino as we share wonderful memories with good food. Although intended for social media and various platforms, these heartwarming short films may soon find its spot in between your favorite telenovelas. And surely you wont be annoyed watching them over and over again.
Written and Review By : Erick Frago
Photos and Edited By : Axl Guinto