Friday, April 29, 2022

Vivamax: Review of KALIWAAN: Trading Torture

April 29, 2022

Working student Boogie Alcantara (Vince Rillon) lived with his parents and younger siblings in their small bakery. One night, he severely injured a guy Raji (Juami Gutierrez) whom he saw romancing his masseuse girlfriend Monica (AJ Raval). His frantic mother Belen (Irma Adlawan) immediately brought Boogie to her brother, policeman Marlon (Mark Anthony Fernandez), with the hope that he can help Boogie out in his present predicament. 

It turned out that Raji was the son of a Muslim family headed by Mohammed (Julio Diaz). The aggrieved father immediately sent his elder son Ahmed (Raion Sandoval) to go look for Boogie. Meanwhile, Boogie was hiding out in the house of Marlon's brutish right-hand man TJ (Felix Roco). Both camps went at each other's throats on a round robin of escalating threats and intimidation, eventually blowing up into an inevitable mess of bloody carnage. 

The very first scene right off showed a sadistic Mark Anthony Fernandez and his men inflicting brutal torture on a helpless naked woman (Cataleya Surio) who had her hands tied up over her head. From this opening scene alone, we are immediately warned that this film was not going to shirk from nudity and gore. And as promised, we will get exactly that gratuitously graphic display of sex and violence that Vivamax is known for.

Ever since his Vivamax debut in "Siklo" (2022), Vince Rillon is on a roll portraying regular guys who were thrust into various sexually-stimulating situations with various voluptuous women. This time Rillon gets to cavort with the original Vivamax princess, AJ Raval, who now has to step up her own game as the Vivamax stable of nymphets is now teeming with several other ladies who are just as willing to bare and more. 

One of these promising sirens is Denise Esteban who gets a top billing on the poster, despite having a role that is secondary at best, even not entirely necessary. She played the role of as TJ's illiterate younger sister who was apparently being abused without her full understanding, a pitiful character who was there to show Boogie's sense of compassion. That final scene of hers holding a white teddy bear was a haunting one. 

The name of Brillante Mendoza may be seen above the title, but he is the producer here, not the director. He handed the reins over to Daniel Palacio, who told Boogie's harrowing tale in a brisk engaging manner with interesting camera angles, only interrupted with extraneous sex scenes for that Vivamax branding. Its main distinguishing aspect was its extreme torture violence which is definitely not for the faint at heart. 5/10. 

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