Film Review: The Baseball Player (2022) by Carlo Obispo

The largest winner of this year’s Cinemalaya Philippine Independent Film Festival, “The Baseball Player” took dwelling awards for Ideal Actor, Screenplay, Editing, and inevitably, for Ideal Film, with the script drawing from The Moro Conflict, an insurgency in the Mindanao area of the Philippines, which has involved numerous armed groups, and has been ongoing due to the fact March 1968.&nbsp

The Baseball Player is screening at Busan International Film Festival

Right after his household was killed by soldiers, young Khalid ended up living with his parents’ relatives in a neighboring town. Almera, and especially her teenage son Amir, take the young boy below their wing, and attempt to assistance him with each his trauma and the intense alter in his every day life. Meanwhile, Amir, whose father was also killed by soldiers in 2000, is encouraged by his teacher, Jonas, to join the varsity group in baseball, with the young man dreaming of ultimately becoming a experienced player. Nonetheless, his uncle Nhor has also recruited him to do combat education with the Moro Freedom Movement, with Amir spending his complete time in college, practice or education. Regardless of their hardships and their evident poorness, the newfound household ultimately handle to uncover some notion of harmony, just when the Armed Forces of the Philippines attain their town in their war against the guerillas.&nbsp

Carlo Obispo directs a film that thrives on the way he manages to retain a extremely delicate balance amongst the components that comprise the narrative. In that regard, “The Baseball Player” could have been a sports film, contemplating the title and the inclusion of baseball in the story, a children’s story, contemplating that each protagonists are young children, a drama, contemplating the general setting right here, or even a war film, due to the fact war appears to lurk in every single corner of the story, even if it is in no way essentially presented, apart from its consequences. Nonetheless, in the finish the film ends up getting all of these items at the exact same time, although not abiding by any certain single element, in a accurate directorial feat by Obispo.&nbsp

Furthemore, all the comments deriving from the aforementioned components are nevertheless incorporated in the narrative. The blights of war are all more than the spot, and have consequences each in the grown ups who strive to survive with their remaining households, and the young children, who uncover it not possible to adapt to these intense circumstances, significantly significantly less dream of altering their lives. Even when they do, although, reality comes crashing on them in the worst style. The way households are shaped by actions, not only by blood, the hate deriving from allodoxaphobia, and the way the actions of the grown ups shape their children’s future are also commented on, cementing the rather wealthy narrative of the title.&nbsp

The complete directorial strategy finds its apogee in the final scene of the film, when the child’s cries are juxtaposed with the continual gunfire, which are only heard and not observed although, in a actually impactful moment that is bound to keep on the thoughts of any viewer.&nbsp

In terms of production values, the film is minimal, primarily permitting the context to thrive. DP Marvin Reyes captures the rural setting by means of mainly pastel colors, in a rather fitting option, although a couple of extended shots also highlight the beauties of the setting. Zig Dulay’s editing benefits in a mid-tempo, which suits the general aesthetics nicely, although the financial 75 minutes of the duration let the film not to overstay its welcome in any way.&nbsp

Lastly, Obispo manages to get wonderful performances from JM Bautista as Khalid and Tommy Alejandrino as Amir, in spite of their age, with their chemistry getting amongst the finest traits in the film, as significantly as the realistic rendition of their characters.&nbsp

“The Baseball Player” is an exceptional film, a masterclass in cinematic economy, and 1 of the Ideal ASEAN motion pictures we have observed this year.&nbsp



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