The Blossoming of Maximo Oliveros (Ang Pagdadalaga ni Maximo Oliveros) Reviews
August 8, 2010
Congested Manila slums project both the adorable and harsh everyday reality in the coming-of-age film Ang Pagdadalaga ni Maximo Oliveros (The Blossoming of Maximo Oliveros), a mesmerizing piece of actuality in the midst of poverty, crime, family, forbidden love and everything in between.
The superb direction from Auraeus Solito brings to life the blunt and honest writing of Michiko Yamamoto that mainly revolves on the conflict between Maxi's affection for the young, handsome cop Victor and his family's criminal trade. Turning sharply from being light and charming into being brutal and sinister, the plot unveils Maxi's rather painful pursuit of his redemption.
Amazingly, the film exhibits the acceptance and tolerance of his manly family and the unpleasant neighborhood for his homosexuality. Moreover, amidst the disagreeable society and culture, the Filipino virtues of family devotion and faith live on.
It is also a picture of contrasts. The neighborhood remains in high spirits despite belonging to the third-world setting. Their apartment, though scarcely roomy, displays a cheery and relaxed atmosphere. The homosexuality is openly accepted despite the great influence of Roman Catholicism.
Maxi is such a captivating blend of the cunning and the innocent, bubbly yet emotionally defenseless. Solito's knack for filmmaking that can actually stir such performance is incredible. Young, vibrant and talented Nathan Lopez carries out a performance that greatly fits the lead role and is splendidly complemented by the rest of the cast. In addition, the gripping cinematography from Nap Jamir and the compelling score from Pepe Smith essentially contributed toward the creation of a superior and exceptional feat.
It is very uncommon for a film to pencil in an overpowering portrait of reality-based concept that truly lingers. What is even more gratifying is that this slice of brilliance Filipinos crafted is critically recognized around the globe. Ang Pagdadalaga ni Maximo Oliveros is a jewel of the independent film industry that acts on each individual while instituting a humanitarian paradigm more than just of tolerance, but of nonbiased judgment.
September 25, 2014
'The Blossoming of Maximo Oliveros' is such a beautiful take on Manila street life. The themes of poverty and homosexuality are out there in the movie, but the movie doesn't try to sensationalize them; they just act as a backdrop, and add flavour to the story. Both the themes are explored with refreshing honesty, and shown as a reality to be accepted and lived. The movie is essentially about family, love, and crime. Despite the themes, the content in the movie is quite PG; therefore it can be enjoyed by a person of any age.
The lead character, 12-year old Maximo (Maxi, as he's affectionately called), is a flamboyant young guy who spends his days watching movies with friends and collecting bets for his brothers. After his mother's death, he has taken over the household duties of cooking, cleaning, etc. Being an openly effeminate lad living in a slum, you would expect him to be an object of chide and ridicule, but it's not the case. Instead, we see him being accepted and loved quite lavishly by everyone around, with no questions asked. The story mainly shows how Maxi is torn between his love for a young police officer and his loyalty towards his family, comprising of his dad and hoodlum brothers.
All the characters in the movie and intriguing, well-developed, and quite lovable; no matter what they do or end up doing, you can actually sympathize and see where they come from. The movie has a very sweet and unique charm to it, right from the very beginning scene, where you see Maxi walk home in his usual flamboyant way, and his eldest brother (standing among friends) pulls his leg by asking, 'Who have you been flirting with?', and Maxi mocks their laughter.
Despite the Christian influence in the town, you can see (ironically) how the people are much more acceptant and tolerant than their urban counterparts.
The camera-work has quite an indie feel to it, but it doesn't come off as trying too hard. You get lost in these characters' day-to-day lives. The acting by everyone involved is quite brilliant; it almost seems like a documentary.
The film has so many moments which melt your heart completely - when Maxi tries to be on his elder brother's side when their dad is abusing and hitting him for something seriously bad he did, when Maxi takes care of the police officer after his brothers beat him up, When Maxi's second brother consoles him after hi love has been rejected, when Maxi is trying to convince his brothers not to set out for revenge. Besides these scenes, the movie is filled with quite a few unique and memorable scenes. Do yourself a favour - if the movie strikes some deep emotional chord with you, please let yourself cry. Many things happen towards the end, and you can see young Maximo blossoming out of his naivete and innocence. The ending is quite emotionally satisfying.
It's a delightful and heartwarming film; with proper exposure, it could very well become a modern-day classic.
April 28, 2014
Maximo Oliveros is the genderqueer son of a criminal family. His mother has passed away and he now keeps house for his father and two brothers whilst their shady dealings provide. A new policeman moves into the neighbourhood. Young and idealistic. One night he saves Maximo from an assault and a kinship is formed. Pretty soon Maximo has fallen into infatuation with the policeman (victor) and his loyalty to his family becomes rather stretched.
An admirable blatantly low budget second film from director Auraeus Solito. The realism of the Filipino slum setting is overwhelming. Combining actual residents with the actors is key here and brings a thoroughly believable atmosphere. The newcomer Nathan Lopez is delightful in the lead. He needs to work on his crying acting though. Constant sniffing proved most annoying.
It is a worthwhile watch, but by no means a perfect film. It takes a good while to get going. A strange start with Maximo playing at Miss World with his girlfriends went on for far too long. The establishment of the locale's acceptance of Maximo's genderqueerness and his own comfort in it was established quite quickly. The storyline just took forever to get started. Once it did though, you are brought in and it is a wonder where it will go.
Satisfying ending? I'll leave it to you to decide.
June 4, 2013
Não conheço nada de cinema filipino, mas a sinopse de Maximo me chamou a atenção. Uma pena que o filme não engrene, apesar dos personagens serem interessantes o roteiro tenta cair para um lado policial que é menos interessante. Não que seja de todo mal, o relacionamento entre o menino e o policial, a aceitação da família, a descoberta da sexualidade são pontos fortes e acima de tudo o diretor merece respeito porque filmar isso na Filipinas não deve ter sido fácil. O menino tá ótimo no papel, facilmente você percebe uma evolução no decorrer do filme. Não é imperdível, mas vale.
January 8, 2013
An delightful tale of young soul in conflict between family and love, Solito's "...Maximo Oliveros" touches a delicate subject with earnest subtlety and tact, crafting one of the brightest Filipino films.
November 26, 2012
The feelings you get. The visual poetry (like the flower amidst the trash in the beginning of the movie).. It's a film that shows that seeds of beauty can sprout in the human nature, even in corrupt sh*tholes like the Philippines.
June 28, 2012
What a film; a movie about family living in poverty and having to resort to petty crime to make a living. You get a raw view of how the people live in the slum areas of Manila. The youngest son Maximo is an effeminate 12 year old boy that fills in the roll of his deceased mother and he ends up falling for the new young police officer, the show handles that relationship with great sensitivity never crossing any lines. This brings Maxi in conflict with his family and things spiral out of control but luckily there was a light at the end of the tunnel. Maxi and his brothers found that light in each other, showing that when a family sticks together they can endure and overcome great hardships.
May 24, 2012
A movie event that allows us to witness the real, dark but witty scenario in the slum areas of Manila.
May 1, 2012
Wonderful and great surprise.
April 4, 2011
Wow, That Movie Really Sucked!
January 15, 2011
i like Maximo's movies
September 10, 2009
The Blossoming of Maximo Oliveros (2006) Ang Pagdadalaga ni Maximo Oliveros. I dont know how I ended up with this in my queue. I have this thing with n flix I put things in my queque when the film has long or short wait I movie it TO THE TOP OF MY QUE. MY LOGIC is that if a lot are wanting to see the film in question it might be worth it. I have mixed feelings about this film. My most serious questions are what kind of a culture lets a 12 year old with homosexual leanings live in this manner. The plot is fairly simple--A 12 year old with gay leanings is the cook cleaner house organizer for his widowed father who has a life in crime. the 2 brothers are involved in criminal lifestyles also. teh boy becomes infatuated with a 25 or 30 year old handsome cop. the cop might cause problems with the families methods of earning a living. For me the film makes the character of Maximo into a gay caricature rather than a genuine character. The entire story while gritty and real was rather a depressing affair for me. DID THIS STORY NEED TO BE TOLD?? I am a die hard liberal and have lots of gay friends and for me the answer is no. The film was the official entry of the Philippines to the 2007 Academy Awards. It holds the distinction of being one of the very few digital films released in 2005. His first narrative feature, The Blossoming of Maximo Oliveros, won the Golden Zenith Award at the Montreal World Film Festival and the Kinderfest International Jury's Grand Prize at the Berlinale in Germany. The Blossoming of Maximo Oliveros was the opening film of the 2006 New Directors/New Films series presented by The Museum of Modern Art and The Film Society of Lincoln Center. Solito filmed The Blossoming of Maximo Oliveros in Sampaloc, the neighborhood where he grew up in Manila, Phillipines this is an ok film but not too hot or recommended. two or three stars.
April 3, 2008
A very unusual movie, but its unusuality doesn't hurt it at all. In fact, it makes it the most watchable Filipino film in years.
July 14, 2007
The blossoming of maximo oliveros is more a social commentary of the filipino way of life in the slums rather than a coming of age/gay movie. It explores the effects of crushing poverty that leads people astray. It does not shy away from the squalor, garbage or violence, even going as far to serenade a filthy river. But it does not fully expose the ugliness either.
It's lead, maxi, is like a full moon; his beauty transcends gender. he is truly glorious when he is simple and earnest. It is very endearing to see how his father and brothers treat him like the delicate flower he is. and it is all the more touching to see how his innocence saves his family from condemning themselves to a point of no return.
May 5, 2006
I am very proud of the people who made this film, they have lifted the standard of Philippine movies.