Working Girls (Ishmael Bernal, 1984)- Viva Films





Produced by 

Vic del Rosario Jr....executive producer
Tony Gloria...supervising producer
William C. Leary...associate producer 
Ramon Salvador...producer

Music by 

Willy Cruz

The first time I've seen this film, I was a very, very impressionable high school student who rarely liked Filipino Films, except for the old ones in gray scale from LVN and Sampaguita Pictures.  I did watch contemporary/modern movies with my friends, family or with our nannies, but there were only a few that made a mark.  When I watched this movie, I was quite impressed with the script and the empowerment of women, but was quite disappointed that Maria Isabel Lopez's character named Rose was not able to rise from the ashes.  Tsk, tsk, tsk! She just had to have that one last job before getting hitched.  Yes, reality bites, but I wondered why everyone else seemed victorious in the end, including Nimfa, played by Ms. Gina Pareño except Rose.  Sabel/Isabel played by Ms. Rio Locsin was able to walk with her head held high when she was able to avenge herself from Cesar Montano's role and his friends/office mates.

Almost all the important female actors during that time who were talented, intelligent and beautiful were included in this film: Hilda Koronel as Carla, Chanda Romero as Anne, Baby Delgado as Amanda, Encar Benedicto as Evelyn, Delia Razon as Amanda's mother, Alma Lerma as Isabel's mother, Vicky Suba as one of Amanda's friends, Marilou Diaz Abaya as Mrs. Kalaw and many more, including those aforementioned, but in my opinion, the one given the biggest break or exposure here was Carmi Martin, who played Suzanne, the lovesick secretary of Edu Manzano as Danny Prado.

Amado Lacuesta's script may not be flawless, but it was definitely well-written and this is one of Ishmael Bernal's greatest work.  It may be presented as a comedy, but if I didn't know better, it could be considered as cinema verite or a docu-drama.  I know I'm exaggerating, but what I just mean is that this movie is as real as real could be and the real Makati in 1984 was filled with empowered women who had their shares of trials and victories.

Instead of making this longer, please just click the link below to read about the very insightful post by Richard Bolisay:

REVIEW Posted by Richard Bolisay in Asian Films, Lagarista, Noypi, Trip to Quiapo. trackback

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