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Sunday, March 16, 2014

The Man, the Boxer. The Manny. The Movie.

Who would have guessed that the filipino who would gain world prominence and admiration, representing the Filipino race, would be a simple, poor, average-sized boy from Mindanao? The only thing he had going for him was his dream and determination to provide for his family. From there, he worked his way to the top occassionally going on without food and shelter. He kept the winning streak while always ackowledging the help from above. He never forgot the Lord as he gained international fame. “He believes it is the Lord's will that he wins or lose” according to one of the amazed commentators.

Well, that is the gist of the movie, Manny, wherein we witness Manny Pacquiao's humble beginnings and progress from rags to riches. Well I must admit that initially I did not expect much. Perhaps like most people who haven't seen it yet, I was imagining a sappy, cinderella-type of presentation wherein Manny will be hailed like a god in the end. And the only people who would appreciate this format may be the C class Filipino audience where it's all heart and no intelligence.
But no, that is not the case.

I enjoyed the presentation format and sound track support that complemented the story which was executed in an endearing way that I believe even foreigners would appreciate. The first part portrayed a falling icon, which was a good hook. Then it was a look back at how it all started, integrating Manny's thoughts and feelings along the way. Even despite his world-stature, Manny is still the simple boy from Mindanao. He is so sincerely natural almost to the point of not realizing people were slightly making fun of him. And if he did realize, he simply brushed it aside like a good sport that he is. His almost “simple-minded” beliefs and comments were actually endearing. You wouldn't catch him bragging at all. He wouldn't get hot-headed, insult his oponent, question the judges, or even complain to media. Always responding with “It's the Lord's will” everytime he loses. He always gives credit to the Lord for all his wins.

So he can't sing, but the world let's him sing. “Maybe it's because no one is brave enough to tell him so”, laughs Jimmy Kimmel. Even Dan Hill, just joins along and tries to make him look good. There are a lot of comedy moments in the movie because it seems Manny is clueless about his true abilities when it comes to singing and acting. “Wapak Man” was another laughing moment along with.his other B action movies. He is what he is, a typical provincial, giggly,Filipino male easily believing others who may probably be taking advantage of him.

Though people may mock him in the way he thinks and acts, no one can put him down for his faith. He aims to glorify God's name in his actions, win or lose. In the Christian world, that is a powerful strategy. In the boxing world, where competitors are expected to brag and insult their opponents, it's a joy to see Manny giving his opponent a hug after the match. That, in my point of view, is what makes the world love this boxer. Pinoys will well up with pride and a lot of smiles too.

Catch “Manny”, the movie about Manny Pacquiao, in its limited theatrical run until Tuesday in cinemas nationwide. Manny is distributed by Solar Entertainment Corporation.

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