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12. Fantastica; movie review

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Title : 12. Fantastica; movie review
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Cert PG
114 mins
BBFC advice: Contains mild rude humour, comic violence, language

What did you do on Sunday afternoon?
Well, we drove for two and a half hours so Mrs W could have a nap.
Yes, I am afraid the early-season demands of the everyfilm challenge were too much for the other half as she drifted into the land of nod in Staines' Vue Cinema.
The only real surprise was that she managed to block out the screeching of Vice Ganda during his latest Filipino slapstick comedy Fantastica.
It is true that Mrs W was tired but it is also fair to say that Barry Gonzales's movie was not really her bag. Indeed, I can't say that I was particularly enamoured.
This may be down to it being well outside of our comfort zone in terms of culture and humour.
And in the movie's defence, those who understood its comic references and zany gags were having a right good giggle behind us.
Fantastica is set in an old fairground which the daughter (Ganda) of a tightrope performer (Jaclyn Jose) is trying to save.
Oh, did I mention that the fairground is in a 'world without happy endings' which happens to be next to a portal into the land of Magic-Kingdom-like Fantastica where princes and princesses make innocent eyes at each other?
Anyway, there is a charming prince (Richard Gutierrez), a chap (Dingdong Dantes) who fights anyone who calls him handsome, even though he is and a host of other characters who are either cross-dressers, dwarves or very attractive young people.
This very strange mix sets out to raise enough cheers and laughter to break a spell with regard to the magic kingdom and...
Never mind, just accept the plot makes absolutely no sense and is merely a vehicle for Ganda to be as crazy as possible.
A quick glance at Wikipedia highlights that Ganda is one of the Phillippines most adored performers, hosting its popular variety show and starring six of the highest grossing movies in the country's history.
It also states his "observational comedy, situational irony and sarcasm pertain to Filipino culture and human sexuality."
We tried our best, driving 120 miles to see if it resonated with us. Sadly, it didn't.

Reasons to watch: If you enjoy the Filipino comedy of Vice Ganda
Reasons to avoid: If the cultural gap is too much

Laughs: A couple of chuckles but belly-laughs for others in the audience
Jumps: None
Vomit: Yes
Nudity: None
Overall rating: 4.5/10 (I can only say as we found it)

Did you know? Vice Ganda's father, a barangay captain, was murdered when he was young.

The final word: Vice Ganda: "I'm aware of what's happening around me, of the social issues. I know what the youth are going through because that's my market. I try to make them laugh and I know why I need to make them laugh." Rappier.com

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