Greed: Filipino Film Review

It took a while for Nadine Lustre to come back after her legal drama with her mother studio Viva Films, but her latest movie is a testament that there are no ill will between the two parties. Her latest film definitely banked on her acting prowess and was far different from anything she has ever done before. Greed is a slow burn movie that delivers a fitting reward for those who are willing to wait.

Synopsis: Young couple Tomi (Diego Loyzaga) and Kichi (Nadine Lustre) want to elope and get away from their poor provincial life, toiling away daily with barely enough to support themselves. Their good friend Dado (Epi Quizon) encourages them to buy a lottery ticket to try their luck. However, when they end up winning, they hide the fact from Dado and leave the village. Dado hunts them down to get what he believes is his share of the prize.

Slow burn is the best way to describe director Yam Laranas’ latest movie. The first act was centered around the daily lives of Tomi, Dado and Kichi and how poor they truly were. The set was intended to show how hot and humid it was in their mountain village. The makeshift home was hardly habitable. Everything was shabby and hard, and dirty. The film definitely made its statement with the visuals. The second act was about Kichi and Tomi’s escape to nearby commune and while the grand climax is when the trip finally reunite in a very bloody circumstance.

Ironically, while the film took its sweet time to establish the main characters’ poverty, there was hardly any background of the characters that was discussed. Kichi’s miserable home life was implied but it was not tackled why her father was so against her relationship with Tomi. It’s not like she was the breadwinner or anything. In the same vein, Tomi and Dado seemed to spend most of their time chatting and hiding underneath a makeshift shed than actually plowing the fields. I don’t even know what Kichi was supposed to be working as because she spent most of her time at Tomi’s house doing wifely duties and hardly anything else. All the talk about the lottery also became quite tedious.

Tomi was a very weak character, and one that gave in to the greed first. He was the epitome of a person who counted his chickens before they were hatched. Dado, because of the effective acting of Epi Quizon was both a pitiful yet scary, whose desperation was compounded by his obsession and sense of betrayal.

Kichi seemed to make the most sense out of the three main characters. She was not greedy and even wanted to share their blessings with Dado and the community. Too bad she did not get her way or things could have ended a bit better for all. However, the moment that this patient woman snapped, it was glorious. There was a marked difference from Nadine in the first two acts to the Nadine in the last 30 minutes of the movie. Its as if a switch was turned on and suddenly, this mild mannered character transformed into a foul mouthed, crazed banshee who will take none of the bullcrap that she has been dealt with so far in her life.

I loved the final twist and the secret villain of the piece, although I’ve had some doubts around halfway into the movie. It was a great final card and the manner in which it was delivered truly gave Wicker Man/Midsommar vibes.

Greed was a great case study on different types of people and how they responded to certain events in their lives. It felt very true and it made audiences ask themselves if they would have dealt with the situation the same way had they been given the same circumstances.

All in all, Greed was a good movie. It had a strong cast, good chemistry, excellent cinematography (you could really feel the heat and humidity from across the screen). Kudos to writer director Yam Laranas, who incorporated his signature style of filmmaking to deliver another one of his masterpieces . Enough good girl roles for Nadine, please. I believe these types of materials are where the next chapter of career should be.

Greed is available to stream on Viva Max.