Music Box Films
Available to order on Amazon USA
Worlds collide, and as for why Leonor Will Never Die is because she simply refuses to give up! This elderly woman (sweetly played by Sheila Francisco) wants to be a screenwriter for those movies she loves watching. She adores action films and did work in the industry long ago.
Although what she writes is for a Filipina audience, her love for the genre is very clear. I’m sure she can be the next Stephen J. Campbell if she wanted to. But her son, Rudi (Bong Cabrera) can’t put up with her. He plans to leave the nest, and little is said about how the other, Ronwaldo (Anthony Falcon), died. In classic ghost story fashion, he can’t move on until he sees the rest of the family is in a good place.
However, this plot plays second fiddle to the next bit of craziness that goes on. Leonor gets struck on the head (by a television no less) and soon lives the life that she set on paper–where the swoon worthy version of Ronwaldo (Rocky Salumbides) replaces the boy she lost and the caper he’s involved in becomes hers as well!
Meanwhile, the ghost prevents her from lapsing into a permanent coma and the inevitable. Mom is spirited. As she lives out “The Return of Kwago,” a screenplay she wrote long ago, other forces at work try to take her out.
The blur between the two realities kept me on my toes since there’s a lot of classic and cheesy 80s action which I wanted to identify. It’s not because I adore the films from that era too, but I’m sure the Easter eggs found during my successive watches can be a separate article in itself! It’s easy to know which reality is being dwelled on as aspect ratios fluctuate. From 4:3 to 16:9, these cues help casual viewers know what’s going on.
Here, we’re following a story about a woman feeling like she’s losing control. Although Leonor knows her story inside and out, she’s not in control for how it will end. The narrative concerns exploring what she can not have. Instead, we learn why her escape into a world of violence mirrors how others may feel, too. All that inner conflict is tough to placate.
Ultimately, Ramirez Escobar‘s film delivers all the right notes to leave viewers thinking about their life, too. His brand of humour is kooky, and it never stops reminding us why staying true to yourself is important. As Rudi tries to interact in her subconscious, just what plays out becomes deliriously hilarious! I love films that delve into the idiom of “I think, therefore I am.” In this case, I believe Leonor slipped into a world of her own making and suggests parallel worlds exist.
If that’s true, then Leonor Will Never Die delves into a very telling thought experiment. Once you decide on what to do with your life, it’s easy to know a way to further that goal is possible. It’s not about wanting a way out since life has gotten her down. While her family thinks producing her unfinished screenplay can wake her from her coma, life other other plans for this zany group, and it’s a joy to see how it all wraps up.
4 Stars out of 5
Blu-ray Bonus Features
- Feature Audio Commentary
- “A Film That Built Itself” Interview Featurette
- “Creature Feature” A Making of Video Journal
- Pusong Bato Short Film