An outstanding noir — sort of a Filipino Fargo without the cheerful black humor — wherein the stink of moral sewage is rivaled only by the stench of desperation. Marlon Villar has a sick wife and a crappy job as a driver for a (very) dirty congressman. He also has a daughter with whom he prays — but what he prays for is not a clean heart and an upright spirit. Writer-director Ron Morales sends our allegiances spinning through a festering wound of a world, and keeps the camera rolling as he scrapes away layer after layer of rot. But he does so without bombast, and with the frank admission that morality is often a matter of what kinds of corruption we will or will not tolerate. Everybody's bad, but some people are worse, and a few want to be better than they are. With Arnold Reyes, Menggie Cobarrubias. 2012.

4.0 stars

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