Uprise (Aguilar, 2008)

Uprise (Sandro Aguilar, 2008)

Every now and then I come across a movie that is captivating to me, even though much of what I’m seeing is confusing. As many of you know, I’m not the type of film watcher that needs a heavy plot to make my experience enjoyable. In fact, I’m quite the opposite. But when films start dabbling in the experimental too much, they start to lose me. Uprise has a basic plot that’s relatively easy to follow, but there are so many additional scenes/characters that seem almost thrown in. Though, in this loose style of storytelling, I have no doubt these events make sense to the characters. (Aguilar does a fantastic job of centering this film on the characters, not the audience. This can be a draining experience since we are not actually a part of these characters’ lives, but it’s an interesting experience, nonetheless.)

Where I need no convincing of this film’s excellence is in its cinematography. The low-lit, blue-shaded, intimate cinematography is fantastic. Again, with the cinematography, it’s focused on the characters. We see this story as if a real person was seeing it. At times, things are dark. At times, objects obstruct a clear path to what is happening. At times, not everything is in focus. The film (which I should mention centers around a man visiting his dying father in a hospital) also features some poetic flashbacks to the protagonist’s days as a child. If it had not been for over 30 minutes at the beginning of the film with no human interaction, I probably would have liked this a lot more. It’s still great, and definitely does what the director intended, but not always my cup of tea.  8/10


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