Lav Diaz's Melancholia 2008
Lav Diaz's Melancholia is an eight-hour meditation of sorts on the maddening persistence of sadness in this world, can logically be divided into three parts and an epilogue. The first part details the experiences in Sagada of Julian (Perry Dizon), Alberta (Angeli Bayani) and Rina (Malaya Cruz) as they refashion themselves into different drastic identities as part of the radical process that Julian created in order for them to cope with the losses of their loved ones. The second part is set in Manila, with Julian and Alberta living their real lives and addressing the scenarios and situations that accompany their melancholic predicament. The third part is the prologue to Julian, Alberta and Rina's prolonged tale of sadness, where deep within the forests of Mindoro, a band of leftist fighters, which includes Alberta's husband Renato (Roeder Camanag), is struggling with the psychological and spiritual torture of both practical and existential defeat while being hunted down by military operatives.

Melancholia is most probably Diaz's most difficult film for the lone reason that Diaz affords little or no comfort to his viewers. There is very little humor to the film and the story, grounded by philosophies and ideas that might be too personal or hard to grasp, branches into different and sometimes convoluted directions. However, as with most of Diaz's films, the reward of completing one is not in the pleasure of sitting through eight hours of his trademark black and white aesthetics and seemingly endless ramblings and conversations, but in the lingering and often valid points that Diaz would have you digesting and exploring for a far longer period of time.

4 x DVD5 | NTSC 4:3 | 01:55:19 + 01:41:07 + 01:54:34 + 01:54:59 | 3.62 Gb + 3.18 Gb + 3.61 Gb + 3.67 Gb + 3% rec
Language: Filipino
Subtitles: English (hardcoded)
Genre: Drama

Director: Lav Diaz
Cast: Angeli Bayani, Perry Dizon, Roeder, Dante Perez, Raul Arellano
Country: Philippines

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