The theme is disturbing indeed, but what made it lighter was the treatment and the close to seamless acting of Audie Gemora and Michael De Mesa.
I watched this film like I was watching a tennis match so the scenes did not confuse me. Thankfully, I didn't make a mistake which scenes were real or just inside Jane's head.
While we were watching we were reminded of Gaslight, Misery(which was mentioned in the film) and Satoshi Kon's Millennium Actress(I wrote about this before, but I couldn't find it) and Perfect Blue. When I checked online, I learned that it was indeed patterned after them and Igmar Bergman's Persona.
Iza Calzado shed off her "good girl image"(I heard her say this in one of the interviews) for this film originally offered to Ms. Anne Curtis. I think she and Adrienne Vergara are very, very brave. Their respective roles seem to be tailor-made for them.
The girls portraying young Jane and young Rose are naturals, and Star Orjaliza was terrifyingly good that you would wonder if she's like that in real life, but people attest that she's a good person.
Shamaine Centenera-Buencamino does not need to act anymore, Stephanie Sol proves she's versatile and the hearthrobs, Ian Veneracion and TJ Triniad, are definitely not so Prince Charming like here(unless you want to compare them to the Prince Charming in Into The Woods), but they are so good that you want to get mad at them...really, really mad (thankfully, not all the time).
I think I kind of get "it"...why they almost gave this an X rating, but they don't need to. It's not a commercial film, but it is a thinker's movie.
Christopher Nolan's Inception was mentioned here too and I was also reminded of Ground Hog Day mashed up with the Nightmare on Elm Street series, except that this is more of a psychological thriller than a horror film. It did have horrifying scenes, but...
In the end, everything would make sense. Yes, I truly believe so.
Jerrold Tarog, you did it again. We are really impressed, but this is definitely not for the faint of heart and...
Kudos to the cast and crew.
Here are some of the reviews of this film:
SUN STAR DAVAO REVIEW
Why Iza feels original X rating gave her film 'Bliss' a boost
- Bliss is a 2017 Philippine psychological thriller film written, edited, scored, and directed by Jerrold Tarog. It stars Iza Calzado, Ian Veneracion, TJ Trinidad, Michael de Mesa, Stephanie Sol and Adrienne Vergara.
- Jane Ciego (Iza Calzado), a successful actress, produces her own film to gain respect from the industry. During the film production, she is involved in a terrible accident that leaves her disabled. She is left in her house under the care and supervision of her husband, Carlo (TJ Trinidad) and a cruel, unusual nurse named Lilibeth (Adrienne Vergara). As days go by, she descends into insanity as she experiences horrors and madness while being trapped in her own home. -Wikipedia
Director: Jerrold TarogRunning time: 1h 40mMusic composed by: Jerrold TarogCinematography: Mackie Galvez
Iza Calzado as Jane Ciego/Abigail
Ian Veneracion as Joshua/Co-Star
TJ Trinidad as Carlo
Adrienne Vergara as Lilibeth/Rose M.
Shamaine Buencamino as Jillian/Mommy J
Joem Bascon as Gerry (it was refreshing to know he was "there"/"here" too
Audie Gemora as Lexter Palao, Director
Stephanie Sol as Emma, Jane's Personal Assistant
Michael de Mesa as a famous TV Host
Star Orjaliza - young Rose M's nextdoor neighbor