AJ Dee (Maryo): Patawarin mo ko sa lahat ng ito. Hindi mo naman dapat na raranasan ito e. Pero bakit di ko mabago ang lahat? Bakit di ko mabago ang kapalaran natin? Kasalanan ko to anak. Napaka mangmang ko kasi e. Napaka wala kong kwentang ama.
Albert Silos (Nilo): Tay mabait po ba kong anak? Maryo: Oo naman anak. Ikaw ang pinaka mabait na anak sa buong mundo. Nilo: Alam niyo po ba kung bakit itay? Kayo nagturo sakin maging mabuti itay. Kayo po ang ginagaya ko. Kaya nagkakamali po kayo sa sinasabi niyo.
TURO TURO directed by Ray An Dulay starring AJ Dee, Enchong Dee, Albert Silos, Janna Dominguez and Marife Necesito is an official entry in the MMFF New Wave section. You can catch it from December 18-24, 2015.
The story is one we are all familiar with; Maryo is a loving father trying to make ends meet. He makes a humble living selling fish balls and kikiam on the street. He has a lively, smart, endearing 10-year-old son Nilo who helps him out dancing and singing to attract customers. The problem is he hardly earns money enough to support his wife and 3 kids. Illiterate and facing few prospects, poverty threatens to tear his family apart.
AJ & Enchong Dee
The project is a labor of love for brothers AJ & Enchong Dee. AJ plays the lead role in Maryo and brother Enchong is one of the antagonists. Here Enchong Dee has shown his versatility as an actor playing Andong, the leech feeding off the hard work of Maryo. Enchong has exhibited growth and easily portrays a despicable lecherous character taking advantage of Maryo’s illiteracy.
Enchong’s approach to Andong isn’t caricature. His motivation is he just wants to make a buck, even off poor souls like Maryo. In this sense we’ve seen Andong before, there’s a lot of him going around. The character is only too real.
The story is something a lot of us can relate to and is especially relevant this season of excess. Trying to make ends meet, trying to survive is something millions of our kababayan experience. Now that typhoon Nona has wrought so much destruction this Christmas season we should keep their needs in mind. This film in a way reminds us to be grateful of the blessings we have and especially the need to help out the less fortunate.
In an interview with Boy Abunda, Enchong Dee said that the film was a labor of love. Sharing the silver screen with brother AJ was one of the motivations and a dream come true for both of them. AJ has given his character Maryo a very sympathetic, likable quality in spite of being down on his luck. Yes, he is illiterate but he has that very Filipino quality of persistence. There may be so many challenges and trials but with hard work, willingness to learn and love of family there is always hope. AJ’s real life relationship with brother Enchong reflects this message.
A revelation in acting at such a young age is Albert Silos playing Nilo. He is the good son and sibling does everything to take care of his younger brother and sister. He even cheers up his own father when he gets depressed. His emotional quotient has reached superhuman proportions. There should have been at least one scene where he breaks down. As a testament to his performance viewers tend to overlook the technical or production gaffes. Sometimes he has kilometric lines that no child should be burdened with, which also makes it seem contrived. All in all Albert pulls it off. The kid is so talented you can’t help but cheer for him.
Janna Domingo & Mosang
The mother Lena is played by Janna Domingo, hers is one of the better more thought out characters. Her reaction to their poverty and desperation is one of a need to do something. While others may perceive her as abandoning her family, it was borne out of a desire to provide for them as an OFW. Domingo along with Mosang are more popularly known for their roles in GMA Network’s PEPITO MANALOTO. Both Domingo and Mosang get to show their range in drama here in spite of being more known for comedic roles.
Mosang is in the role of Ginang Salve who represents a lot of our public school teachers. There are so many of them in the public school system who go above and beyond their call of duty to help out kids in need. Here we see Ginang Salve take the time to tutor Nilo, guide him, not in school but in her own private time, visiting his barong barong (shanty). Or welcome him in her home feeding him. Nilo was so grateful and happy after she gave him used textbooks to study on his own and share with his siblings. With that scene one realizes that even the simplest donations of old books can mean so much to young hungry mind such as Nilo’s. He’s not the only beneficiary as he teaches his younger siblings to read, there’s a multiplier effect to something so simple as used books.
Marife Necesito & Sigfreid Barros Sanchez
Marife Necesito is Aling Miring a vegetable dealer who gives Maryo a much-needed job. Marife is an actress who has worked in international films like MAMMOTH by Lukas Moodyson and LILET NEVER HAPPENED by Jacco Groen. Here the role is able to deliver another important message. This time it deals with diet. The job she provides helps Maryo find a more nutritious and cost effective way of feeding his family. Vegetables especially when eaten raw are affordable and nutritious.
Sigfreid Barros Sanchez is another name known in the indie circles. Sig as he is more popularly known is a filmmaker in his own right. He’s also usually cast in big burly scary roles. This one is no different. His appearance is short but very intense so watch out for it.
Technical weaknesses should be pointed out so director Ray An Dulay could avoid them in the future. For example different audio levels in one scene or lapel mics getting squished creates needless distractions for viewers. Sometimes lighting can look artificial. Other than a few technical polishing, story wise and performances were enough to carry the film through. TURO TURO is highly recommended especially for families wanting to learn the values of gratitude, hard work and most of all hope.
AJ Dee – Maryo
Albert Silos – Nilo
Enchong Dee – Andong
Janna Dominguez – Lena
Mosang – Ginang Salve
Rey Pumaloy – Lusyo
Marife Necesito – Aling Miling
Psyche Margaux – Ningning
Junar Labrador – Nanding
Ray An Reel Dulay – Bunso
Paolo Paraiso – Doc Garry
Sigfreid Barros Sanchez- foreigner
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