Stories can be dances with an unpredictable cadence, and films can be jazz. Diane Ventura’s debut feature “Mulat,” which will hold its first commercial screening on Nov. 2, has garnered critical acclaim—Ventura bagged Best Director for Global Feature, while Jake Cuenca took home Best Actor at the International Film Festival Manhattan 2015; the film furthermore won Best Narrative Feature at the World Cinema Festival in Brazil, where Cuenca once again snagged Best Actor —is one such movie.
Gut response will tell you plot is thrown out the window in “Mulat,” but nothing can be farther from the truth. In its use of time jumps, shifting perspectives, and dream sequences juxtaposed with spills from the subconscious, the film not so much subverts linearity but subsumes itself in it, rethinks it. What we have in “Mulat,” if anything, is a jagged, broken roadmap.
Sam (Loren Burgos) is engaged to be married to Vince (Ryan Eigenmann), who has time and again shown his disdain for marital proceedings and, transitively, his fiancée. The film opens with them quarreling during a car ride, an argument which escalates into frenzied verbal volleying that would later be interrupted by their collision with a stray motorcyclist. The crash would ironically set the dream-riddled wheels in motion, and the viewer would be taken to flashbacks, flash-forwards, and alternate realities in “multiverse” fashion.
In one sequence, the crash would appear to be a mere bout of daydreaming, with the doggedly submissive Sam suddenly shifting gears, telling the abusive Vince, “I’m not wasting another second of my life with you.” The rest of the film would be a rich montage of alternating worlds, if you may, between Sam’s strained engagement with Vince, and her redemption in the hands of a new love in the person of Jake (Jake Cuenca).
Director Diane Ventura’s “Mulat: (Awaken)” will hold its first ever commercial screening beginning Nov. 2 at your favorite theaters, with a bonus opening feature short film “The Rapist” (also directed by Diane Ventura).