Sunday, September 06, 2009

Kimmy Dora: Kambal sa Kiyeme (2009)



Kimmy Dora: Kambal sa Kiyeme (Joyce Bernal, 2009)

Joyce Bernal's Kimmy Dora: Kambal sa Kiyeme isn't as fabulously inane as Booba (2001), a comedy that Bernal also directed where from start of the movie to its finish, the film relentlessly revolved around oversized mammaries, underperforming penises, and a sibling rivalry that rivaled Cain and Abel's in terms of intensity and extent. Right before Kimmy Dora concludes in a delightfully cheesy song number (where sisters Kimmy and Dora declare their newfound love for each other by singing the corniest ditty and sillily dancing in the middle of the road in matching garments), it grows a heart. There is nothing wrong with the heart it grew. It was right there from the start, neatly hidden underneath the movie's quick wit and efficient humor. It just should have stayed in the background while the movie pushed forward, earning chuckle after chuckle. Thus, when the heart revealed itself, expressing what is already apparent, arguably to the detriment of being one of those rare perfectly carefree screwballs that are easily taken for granted but is actually valuable in this age that has lost all authentic humor to the formula of safe and family-friendly jubilation, I was quickly removed from the hypnotic daze that Kimmy Dora rapidly got me into.

Having relayed that minor complaint, a complaint that stems out of a personal distaste for neat resolutions especially in movies that do not need them, Kimmy Dora is perhaps the most effective comedy in recent memory. Note that I specifically used the word "effective" instead of the more common "best" to express my admiration for the movie, simply because there's a difference between the two adjectives. The former connotes the ability to what it was created for and the latter; thus, an effective comedy goes straight to the point, bombarding its audience with joke after joke, even to the extent of putting logic and reality aside, just to achieve its mission. The latter is more subjective; and calls for something more than just effectivity, depending, of course, on the needs of the subjective mind. To my mind, there are better recently released local comedies like Veronica Velasco's Last Supper No. 3 (2009), Jerrold Tarog and Ruel Dahis Antipuesto's Confessional (2008), Francis Xavier Pasion's Jay (2008), and Ray Gibraltar's When Timawa Meets Delgado (2007), but Kimmy Dora, with all its unabashed nonsense and guilt-free drollery, is simply deliriously hilarious.

The story, written by Chris Martinez (who also penned Jeffrey Jeturian's Bridal Shower (2004) and Bikini Open (2005), two very good satires, and directed from his own screenplay 100 (2008), a take on death with the uncharacteristic humor that it deserves) is a hoot. Kimmy (Eugene Domingo), a domineering top executive who barks at her subordinates, and Dora (also, Domingo), the nincompoop with the heart of gold, are identical twins. Kimmy, who toils for the family business, secretly envies Dora because Dora gets all the love and attention of their father (Ariel Ureta) and white collar hunk Johnson (Dingdong Dantes, who gives a surprisingly enjoyable performance), despite her imbecility. The plot thickens, with Kimmy discovering her father's bequeathing a substantial portion of his estate to Dora while she gets crumbs, and in a deliciously staged precursor to a wild case of mistaken motives and identities, unknowingly gives marching orders to kidnap Dora. The kidnappers kidnap Kimmy instead, forcing Dora, for the sake of their weak father and the hugely successful business, to pretend to be Kimmy while she's gone.

Bernal directs the comedy with a confidence that is reflected from the surefooted way the movie delivers its humor in heaps and bounds. There are questionable additions, like the Stephen Chow-esque use of computer generated effects to needlessly magnify humor (an unfortuate excess, in my honest opinion), but overall, Bernal directed the movie with a modesty that transforms the movie into an uncluttered piece of entertainment, self-aware of its . As with Booba, where Bernal's direction merely complemented her actors comedic timing instead of upstaging them, she knows very well that the movie's success hinges on the dual performance of Domingo, a thespian who has graduated from playing best friends of the lead to play both leads of Kimmy Dora.

Domingo, who proves to be both a formidable actress and a comedienne with exquisite comedic timing, should have been the movie's lone special effect. Out of playing simplistic dual roles of dominatrix and simpleton, she comes up with a performance that exceeds what is required of her. In one hilarious sequence, Domingo, playing Dora, who needs to act like Kimmy, who in her overly simplistic mind is a hotheaded monster, and starts to go back and forth being herself and Kimmy to cover up Kimmy's disappearance to their father, seamlessly handles the task, without confusing the audience and as an added bonus, furthers the built-in comedy of the sequence with her invaluable comic stylings. The sequence proves Domingo's mettle in creating two distinct personalities that notwithstanding an exercise in blurring the two personalities, she resists and manages to remain Kimmy or Dora, or Kimmy pretending to be Dora, or Dora pretending to be Kimmy, and you can't help but feel astounded by the mastery she dedicates to the movie. Simply put, nonsense has never been this satisfying.

16 comments:

parteeboi said...

this is the only movie that i watched twice in two nights. the second time was even funnier. i think the movie grows in you as you watch it again and again.

Jason Bruce said...

Nice comments. I am curious about this movie and will defintely put it on my "must see" list. Filipino comedies frustrate me most of the time but this might be different, I hope. I like Domingo's humor and with Ariel Ureta in the ensemble, who can go wrong with that... those who lived in the 70s or 80s know what I mean.

Oggs Cruz said...

Parteeboi, I'd love to see this a second time around. Saw this in Glorietta, and I was standing up the entire time, but I still enjoyed myself very much.

Jason, do watch.

mojacko said...

tama ka. the movie didn't need the special effects, which probably and needlessly strained their budget.

<*period*>; said...

i find the movie intellectually funny.

i love the way bernal added tiny details that made the movie funny...

like the LV design inside the expedition 2009...or how kimmy bluntly told manny pangilinan she's buying him out...or how she deglamourized a former miss universe first runner up...

i agree with you that indeed, eugene domingo was the best asset in this film

(my most favorite scene?when dora addressed a speech in front of the executives and press..the one where jinggoy estrada showed up as a janitor)

in my life, ito lang ang pelikulang pinanuod ko hanggang sa matapos yung film credits..sna nga may part two pa...

(natawa rin ako sa isang scene na hindi na nakasama sa version na ipinalabas sa sinehan,,yung part na itinapos ni eugene yung cellphone niya at sinabi sa kasambahay na ibigay sa mga hampas lupa, basta ibalik sa kaniya yung sim card...)

i also love the house of the go dong hae family, wow, kanino kaya yun?

UFO said...

thanks Oggs ;0

kimmydora might just change the way we make and market films ;)

kumagcow said...

I have yet to watch this movie, thanks for the review!

Fidel Antonio Medel said...

It's hard to argue if Kimmy Dora outstaged Last Supper No. 3. But on the level of pure hilarity, I'll willingly give the crown to the former. I still chuckle every time I remember Dora desperately trying to imitate her ill-tempered sister. Kimmy Dora is a guilt-free comedy that we all should watch.

Oggs Cruz said...

Kimmy Dora outlaughs Last Supper, most definitely, which is why its the more effective comedy. Better, as you've mentioned and as I've discussed to be dependent on the person's comedic needs, is arguable. I'd argue Last Supper No. 3 is the better comedy, simply because I got something out of it other than laughs, but Kimmy Dora, with its pure adherence to nonsense, is quite refreshing.

CamB said...

Okay, so before I did my review, I did not want to read any reviews because I didn't know where to start and I didn't want to inadvertently type the same adjectives that the other reviewers did. Oh well, I also referred to Booba in my review and used words like "comedienne" and "mastery", haha! I know no one has a patent on those word but what a coincidence.

new blogger said...

If only non-sense was so easy...

Do you work here? Hahaha. :)

citybuoy said...

saw this movie a few days ago. i already had a lot of expectations. everyone's been saying a lot about it. i found it really funny. the conclusion was a little cheesy but i'm sure some people actually found it entertaining.

re:eugene in that scene where dora pretends to be kimmy for her father (i think they were having breakfast)- i realized how great an actress she was. her timing is impeccable and she's completely relatable as the sosyalera kimmy or as the lovable and special dora.

it's not going to challenge your intellect or anything deep like that. it's just really entertaining. i've had a few people say na it's really inane and stuff but what they don't get is that's exactly the point. it's suppose to be that way and if you don't get it, sucks to be u. haha

i can't wait to see this movie when it comes our on dvd if only to see the floating-in-front-of-a-boy scene again.

bloghopped. i wish i could review movies as well as you do. *following*

Anonimus said...

While I was laughing my head off, it was the inanity of it all that hooked me. But after the movie and with my head firmly back in place I realized there were lots of things to take away from the movie, specially lessons that ring true in the workplace. This movie is proving to be a real nuisance (just to me) in the office. Specially this "I'll get back to you on that" line which, par for the course, I use twenty times a week. And everytime someone does something really stupid I want to go up to them and drop the bombshell -- "Do you work here?"

juan said...

kung alam ko lang na si chris martinez nagsulat nito talagang nanood nako... maganda naririnig ko dati pero ayoko lang irisk ang limited budget ko ngayon sa isang "joyce bernal" work...

Fuman said...

Now I really need to watch this movie after my work later I thought I was going to wait for it in DVD but with all these good comments and reviews, I just can't miss Kimmy Dora...

Anonymous said...

hands down on the review and even the comments... im beginning to really like your blog. ur on my favorites now. good job!